Validus Capital surpasses US$83.5mil in Singapore SME funding
By Digital News Asia September 13, 2018
- Backed by Temasek Holdings’ Vertex Ventures and licensed by the MAS
- Financed over 1,600 loans to date; average amount funded per request is US$50,827
SINGAPORE-based SME financing platform Validus Capital (Validus) has surpassed over S$115 million (US$83.5 million) in funding for local SMEs and businesses through its platform.
It has financed more than 1,600 loans to date, each of which was approved almost instantly (under 24 hours). The average amount funded per request is S$70,000 (US$50,827), with a high degree of diversification across various industry classes.
Much of the company’s growth is in tandem with Singapore SMEs’ increased need for growth capital, with a financing gap of around S$20 billion (US$14.5 billion).
(S$1 = US$0.73)
Established in 2015, Validus offers access to financing from accredited individual and institutional lenders.
Backed by Temasek Holdings’ Vertex Ventures and licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Validus combines experience in SME financing with a smart, data-driven approach.
It acts as a peer‐to‐business lending marketplace that reduces financial intermediation costs – the benefits of which are passed to both borrowers and investors.
This provides borrowers with quicker approval times and faster access to capital for business expansion; while simultaneously allowing for less stringent requirements to small businesses which have conventionally faced financing difficulties due to lack of collateral or cashflow records.
Speaking on the company’s momentum, Ajit Raikar, chief executive officer and co-founder, said: “We are immensely proud to have helped accelerate the growth of so many of Singapore’s SMEs, and yet we still have much work to do to empower many more such businesses.
“We have innovations in the pipeline that will give SMEs even more capital flexibility and choice to suit their business strategies, accelerating Validus towards our billion-dollar financing milestone by mid-2020.”
Vertex Holdings chief executive officer Kee Lock Chua, said: “As a lead investor and primary partner when Validus first started out, Vertex has been able to see first-hand how it has positively impacted SMEs to accelerate their growth and capabilities. While investment returns are important, what we value the most are companies that solve challenges and have societal impact – that’s exactly what Validus is doing.”
Validus has also worked with various partners such as Visa, EQ Insurance and National University of Singapore (NUS) to create a better marketplace lending ecosystem for its investors and borrowers.
Just last year, Validus and Visa had launched a virtual card-based solution to facilitate immediate and efficient cashflows.
“Working with key banks in Southeast Asia, Visa and Validus are driving innovation in lending to the small business community,” said Vikram Kshettry, head for B2B Partnerships, Asia Pacific, Visa.
“Electronic payments bring small businesses greater efficiency, supporting them in capitalising on opportunities quickly and accelerating their growth. The Validus and Visa partnership is also delivering solutions that make it easier for banks and their small business customers to access and use a range of data, providing them with new insights.”
In the last 12 months, Validus has forged new partnerships with corporates including ST Engineering and SMRT to fund their vendor base on a pre-approved basis, and deepened its partnership with Visa to provide SMEs with a virtual credit card-based solution to help SMEs reinvest profits into business growth.
Validus went on to close a S$4 million Series A round from Vertex Ventures, before partnering with Lighthouse Canton Group to launch a S$20 million LCV Trade Finance Fund (which will scale up to S$200 million) dedicated towards financing SMEs in Singapore.
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