Southeast Asia-focused SME lender Funding Societies scored $144m

Funding Societies, an SME lending platform aimed at Southeast Asia, has closed its oversubscribed Series C+ round on $144m.

The round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with commitments also coming from VNG Corporation, Rapyd Ventures, EDBI, Indies Capital, K3 Ventures and Ascend Vietnam Ventures

In addition to the equity injection, the lending giant received $150m in debt from institutional lenders across Europe, the US and Asia.

Funding Societies stated the investment gives $16m to former and existing employees via the company’s stock option plan in the form of a share buyback.

The company was founded in 2015 by former Harvard Business School students Kelvin Teo and Reynold Wijaya to help MSMEs in Southeast Asia. Its platform offers micro loans, term loans, supply chain financing, invoice financing, revolving credit facility, property-backed secured financing and more.

The company is licenced and registered in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. It also operates in Vietnam.

Funding Societies’ annualised loan origination exceeded $1bn in Q4 2021.

Funding Societies co-founder and Group CEO Kelvin Teo said, “We’re honoured by the faith of our new and existing shareholders. We started Funding Societies | Modalku to empower SMEs by solving their biggest problem, access to financing, especially unsecured financing. A common misconception is that we compete with banks.

“The reality is we ‘compete’ with savings, friends and families, and personal credit cards. There is a huge unsecured financing gap because it takes patience and focus, or you risk losing a lot of money. Having proven our AI-led credit capabilities in an unprecedented financial crisis, we look to serve SMEs even better with neobanking and deeper regional presence in Southeast Asia.”

Funding Societies previously raised $45m in its Series C funding round.

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