People Digest: P2P lender Funding Societies appoints new CFO; Carsome gets new COO

From left: Nihit Nirmal (CPO), Ishan Agrawal (CTO), Frank Stevenaar (CFO) of Funding Societies

Southeast Asia-based peer-to-peer (P2P) financing platform Funding Societies has appointed Frank Stevenaar as its first chief financial officer (CFO), while Malaysia’s used-car marketplace Carsome has hired a new chief operating officer (COO).

P2P lender Funding Societies appoints new CFO

Southeast Asia-based peer-to-peer (P2P) financing platform Funding Societies said on Wednesday that it has appointed Frank Stevenaar as its first CFO, according to a statement.

Stevenaar was one of the founders of the financial services platform, GoBear, which launched in 2015. Until recently, he was GoBear’s CFO. Stevenaar has 20 years of experience in financial services and M&A.

In August last year, Funding Societies had appointed Nihit Nirmal as its chief product officer (CPO), and had promoted Ishan Agrawal as its chief technology officer (CTO) in April 2020.

The appointments come at a time when the startup is gearing up for larger funding rounds and a sustained growth trajectory, Funding Societies said.

Nirmal, the chief product officer, comes with 15 years of experience in technology. His previous assignment was senior VP and head of product management and growth at Fullerton-backed LendingKart, India’s largest digital lending platform. 

Agrawal, the CTO, was Funding Societies’ VP of engineering for two years before being promoted. The Stanford University and National University of Singapore graduate has also served as the company’s head of data.

“As we steer through COVID-19 with good relative success and are recovering to near pre-COVID results, we are cautiously optimistic about 2020, excited for 2021, and planning ahead with concerted leadership from Frank, Ishan, and Nihit,” Funding Societies co-founder and group CEO Kelvin Teo said.

Funding Societies recently raised $40 million in Series C from existing and new investors. After five years of lending across Southeast Asia, Funding Societies has disbursed over S$1.6 billion ($1.17billion) in financing through more than 2.8 million loans across Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Also known as Modalku, Funding Societies is the largest SME digital financing platform in Southeast Asia. It is licensed in Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia, and backed by Sequoia India and Softbank Ventures Asia Corp among others. It provides business financing to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 

Used-car platform Carsome appoints new COO

Malaysian online used-car trading platform Carsome said on Wednesday that it has appointed Benjamin Koellmann as its new COO. 

“Koellmann is no stranger to Southeast Asian markets, where he last held the position of director of e-commerce (food) at Dairy Farm International in Singapore,” Carsome said. Prior to that, he was part of the early team at Lazada Indonesia before setting up HappyFresh, the largest online grocery platform in Southeast Asia.

In his new role, Koellmann is responsible for driving synergy and operational efficiency across all markets Carsome operates in, namely Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore.

“What fascinates me about Carsome is that we are revolutionising the used-car industry and customer experience through technology, transparency, and trust. I have always worked in roles and companies that were at the leading edge of digital transformation, be it in e-commerce, or groceries. I am looking forward to do the same for the automotive industry,” Koellmann said.

Carsome co-founder and group CEO Eric Cheng said that the addition of Koellmann to Carsome’s senior management team is timely as the company continues championing business innovation and expansion within the Southeast Asian used-car market.

“We are excited to have Benjamin onboard. With his extensive management experience on e-commerce platforms and being a startup founder himself, we are confident that he will be a strong contributor,” Cheng added.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.