First Circle pockets $1.2m for SME lending in South-East Asia

South-East Asian-focused SME lender First Circle has raised $1.2m in a Seed funding round.

The investment was led by European investor Key Capital with 500 Startups and IMJ Investment Partners also participating.

First Circle was founded by former Web Summit CTO Tony Ennis, Morgan Stanley associate Patrick Lynch and CompareAsiaGroup managing director Jorrit Koop.

The company is based in the Philippines with the aim of offering cost-effective and collateral-free loans around the region.

It launched the service in an April beta rollout and plans to form partnerships with local trade bodies and e-commerce companies around the region.

The Asian Development Bank claims there is a funding gap of $50bn in the region.

First Circle says it will use the capital to expand its team and further develop its front and back-end tech.

Copyright © 2016 FINTECH GLOBAL

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