Kuala Lumpur, 7 October 2021 – Funding Societies, Southeast Asia’s largest SME digital financing platform, today announced that it has raised US$18 million in debt led by a trio syndicate of financial institutions including Helicap Investments, the newly launched Social Impact Debt Fund, and a Japanese financial services group. Helicap Securities acted as sole mandated lead arranger on the secured credit facility. Together with funding received from European impact investors such as Triodos Investment Management for Indonesian business loans, Funding Societies is on track to raise US$120 million in institutional debt for funding the growth needs of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Southeast Asia. This funding round also expands the platform’s institutional lender base, which it secured after passing financial and risk due diligence conducted by the lenders. Funding Societies will place the funds for lending to deserving MSMEs, propelling its mission of enabling financial inclusion in the region.
Established in 2015, Funding Societies provides MSMEs with business financing, which is funded largely by institutional lenders and retail investors. It harnesses the power of technology to give underserved yet creditworthy MSMEs financial access through its digital platform. In Southeast Asia, MSMEs contribute to more than 50% of each ASEAN Member State’s GDP, but because many lack a strong credit track record or collateral, they are often rejected for business loans by traditional financial institutions. Funding Societies enables access to finance by using alternative data points including but not limited to the MSME’s cash flow – its ability to repay the loan – to underwrite these loans.
“The pandemic was an important test of resilience, and we are glad to have navigated it successfully, with a proven AI-led credit model. We are honored for the faith of Helicap, the Social Impact Debt Fund, and the Japanese financial services group, enabling us to further ride on the growth of SME digital financing. We believe this is a start of a long-term relationship and continuous evolution of Funding Societies,” said Kelvin Teo, Co-founder and Group CEO, Funding Societies | Modalku.
Helicap is a Singapore-based alternative lending firm that provides private debt investments to a wide network of accredited investors, including family offices, high net worth individuals, impact funds, and institutional investors. In line with its support of sustainable lending, the FinTech joined the round through its investments arm, Helicap Investments, after the deal was arranged by its securities arm, Helicap Securities.
“We are delighted to have assisted Funding Societies in its goal of providing access to capital for underserved MSMEs,” said David Z. Wang, Co-founder and CEO of Helicap Pte. Ltd., the parent company of Helicap Investments and Helicap Securities. “Helicap was founded with the aim of breaking down traditional barriers for those who need capital and those who can provide it. This transaction demonstrates the ongoing institutional and individual appetite for private debt investment, and Helicap is well positioned to provide access to quality opportunities through our relationships with leading issuers such as Funding Societies.”
The Social Impact Debt Fund, an impact investment fund managed by Taurus Wealth Advisors and advised by GreenArc Capital, provided debt financing to Funding Societies seeing the impact the latter has affected on the region’s economic disparity. The Japanese financial services group that also participated in the fundraise round has renewed its commitment to impact focused Fintech lenders in Southeast Asia and has a track record of driving adoption of financial services in emerging markets to facilitate long-term growth of its portfolio companies.
This syndicated facility of US$18 million is expected to increase further with interest from investors across Asia and Europe.
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