Singapore-based Funding Societies raises $193.7m in SoftBank-led round

The co-founders of Funding Societies, Kelvin Teo (left) and Reynold Wijaya, seen in 2019. PHOTO: FUNDING SOCIETIES MODALKU

SINGAPORE (REUTERS, BLOOMBERG) - Funding Societies, a South-east Asian digital financing platform, has raised US$144 million (S$193.7 million) in a funding round, led by SoftBank Group's SoftBank Vision Fund 2, as it expands further in one of the world's fastest growing digital markets.

In a statement on Wednesday (Feb 16), the seven-year-old company said other new investors included Vietnamese tech group VNG Corp.

Funding Societies also secured US$150 million in lines of credit from institutional lenders worldwide, some of which have been drawn down since last year.

Singapore-based Funding Societies, whose main market is Indonesia, focuses on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), offering loans from US$500 to up to US$1.5 million.

Non-bank lending platforms that link investors to borrowers are growing in South-east Asia, where small firms have limited access to financing from traditional sources due to lack of a credit track record or collateral to pledge.

Funding Societies, which is also present in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, has disbursed more than US$2 billion to date in loans to MSMEs, according to the statement.

The company was founded in 2016 by Harvard Business School alumni Kelvin Teo and Reynold Wijaya.

The latest funding round comes on the back of the company's US$45 million Series C raised between 2020 and last year.

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