Asia Digest: SG’s Circles.Life to expand Down Under; Australia’s Marketlend raises funding

Rameez Ansar, Co-founder & Director, Circles.Life

Singapore-headquartered telco Circles.Life has extended its personalized digital services to Australia, while Australian marketplace lender Marketlend has raised as much as $45 million AUD ($31 million) in capital as part of an ongoing funding round.

Circles.Life eyes Australia expansion

Singapore telco Circles.Life has extended its personalized digital services to Australia on the back of a strategic partnership with Optus, one of the largest telco players in the country, according to an announcement.

“We have made history in the telco space with our rapid launch in Taiwan and now, Australia,” said Rameez Ansar, co-founder at Circles.Life. “In Australia, similar to other countries we found that customers are unhappy with their telcos so we’re stepping up the game by offering a premium customer experience.”

Founded in Singapore in 2016, Circles.Life operates an asset-light business model, which eliminates all hardware and appliances in its architecture into a software-based cloud. Its technology also allows the telco to launch new services rather quickly through smart analytics and its API-based platform.

In Singapore, Circles.Life has already expanded beyond telco, creating a bouquet of digital lifestyle products, insurance products and more coming up in the pipeline.

In June, Circles.Life completed an undisclosed round of funding led by Singapore government-linked investor EDBI and Silicon Valley-based Founders Fund.

The company earlier had raised an unspecified amount in a Series C round led by Sequoia India to launch into new markets like Taiwan and Australia.

The startup said it will launch in more than five markets in the next 18 months with an investment of over $36.8 million (S$50 million) per launch.

Australia’s Marketlend raises $31 m funding

Australia’s marketplace lender Marketlend has raised $45 million AUD ($31 million) as part of an ongoing funding round from Australian and overseas institutional funders, according to an announcement.

The money will be used to fund Australian and APAC trade credit offerings.

Of the total $45 million AUD that it has received, it has already deployed as much as $40 million AUD to APAC borrowers.

To date, Marketlend has funded over $120 million AUD in trade credit facilities that have turnovers of over $220 million per annum, thereby becoming one of Australia’s largest SME marketplace lenders.

“We are seeing institutions and sophisticated investors locally and abroad recognise that Marketlend has a front-row seat on some of the most promising ventures in APAC.  It also shows the appetite for a model built on transparency and robust due diligence that can provide attractive returns with a relatively low-risk profile,” said Leo Tyndall, founder and CEO at Marketlend.