P2B lender Validus Capital raises over $100m in funding for SMEs

SINGAPORE - Singapore-based peer-to-business (P2B) lender Validus Capital has surpassed $100 million in funding for local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and businesses through its financing platform, it said on Wednesday (Aug 1).

This works out to an average loan amount of about $70,000 across more than 1,400 loans.

Established in 2015, Validus received its capital markets licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore in December 2017. Validus targets accredited and institutional investors to finance the needs of SMEs through a lending marketplace that reduces financial intermediation costs. It also provides insurance for investors who face defaulted loans.

Ajit Raikar, chief executive officer and co-founder of Validus Capital, said: "This provides borrowers with faster approval times and access to capital for business expansion while allowing for less stringent requirements to small businesses which have conventionally faced financing difficulties due to lack of collateral or cash flow records."

Temasek-backed Vertex Ventures invested $4 million in Series A funding in Validus in July 2017. Validus also launched a virtual card-based solution with Visa in 2017 to facilitate immediate and efficient cash flows needs for SMEs.

In May 2018, Validus and independent asset manager Lighthouse Canton Group launched a $20 million fund to finance SMEs in Singapore. It hopes to grow the fund to $200 million in the next three years.

Mr Raikar 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."