Validus Capital tops US$73mil in business funding for local SMEs
By Digital News Asia August 2, 2018
- Marks third year anniversary with more than 1,400 loans
- Its vision is to support US$734 million in business funding by 2020
SINGAPORE-based SME financing platform Validus Capital (Validus) has surpassed over S$100 million (RM73.44 million) in funding for local SMEs and businesses through its platform.
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 has financed more than 1,400 loans to date, each of which was approved almost instantly (under 24 hours). The average amount funded per request is S$70,000 (US$514,109), with a high degree of diversification across various industry classes.
Validus chief executive officer and co-founder Ajit Raikar, attributed the company’s growth to successfully addressing the financing gap faced by local businesses, estimated at around S$20 billion (US$14.7 billion), with data analytics and technology.
Validus 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 cash flow records.
Speaking on Validus’ momentum, he 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 CEO 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 cash flows.
“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 seen tremendous business momentum. It 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 (US$2.9 million) Series A round from Vertex Ventures, before partnering with Lighthouse Canton Group to launch a S$20 million (US$14.7 million) LCV Trade Finance Fund (which will scale up to S$200 million (US$146.9 million) dedicated towards financing SMEs in Singapore.
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