Malaysian PE fund manager Senturia Capital has forged a partnership with locally founded regional peer-to-peer (P2P) financing platform Funding Societies.
This could mark the country’s first such association between a P2P platform and PE firm to provide alternative financing access and capital solutions for Malaysian businesses which are currently dependent on banks for their financing needs.
The financing gap for these Malaysian SMEs sector is huge, and according to estimates cited by the Securities Commission, it is worth RM 80 billion (about US$18.9 billion).
Commenting on the partnership, the Managing Partner of Senturia Capital Datuk Macro Yap said, “Our partnership with Funding Societies is a quality and strategic solution in recognizing the need of alternative funding for businesses.”
“Given the rise of alternate financing driven by the Securities Commision, and considering recent challenges in our macroeconomic environment where businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to get access to financing from traditional avenues, this partnership is more relevant than ever.”
In fact, the partnership will enable Senturia to offer a hybrid solution for business financing through a combination of equity and debt financing structures.
This will range from equity crowdfunding, debt crowdfunding, private equity, venture capital, and especially P2P financing which are catered to different businesses.
Besides, it will also enable the retail public to invest and diversify across a greater variety of SMEs and through the platform, invest in creditworthy SMEs from as low as RM 100 (about US$23.72).
This allows investors to earn better risk-adjusted returns as compared to traditional investment asset classes including fixed deposits and mutual funds.
Additionally, Senturia Capital has recently announced a RM 300 million (about US$70.7 million) strategic capital fund to provide flexible and medium-term alternative capital to businesses across a wide range of sectors in Malaysia, Singapore, China, and Australia.
Meanwhile, Funding Societies Malaysia CEO Wong Kah Meng said “Funding Societies is primarily focused on providing smaller financing amounts with shorter tenors to SMEs.”
“With this partnership, we will be able to serve a greater variety of businesses, especially those that require larger and more complex financing structures, while at the same time protecting the platform’s investors.”
Funding Societies is the first and largest P2P financing platform in Malaysia. The company has operations in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia – having disbursed around RM 190 million (about US$45 million) into more than 850 deals across Southeast Asia.