First Circle is the first digital SME business financing company in Southeast Asia, while Acudeen is into receivable financing, a P2P (peer-to-peer) invoice marketplace that allows SMEs to convert their unclaimed receivables for cash to boost their cash flow.
Both startups consider the partnership as an “ideal union” sharing the vision of the high-potential value of Ecommerce and non-Ecommerce retail businesses.
First Circle CEO Patrick Lynch said the partnership with Acudeen expands opportunities for thousands of Philippine SMEs to expand their business.
“We recognize that in order for small businesses to compete at a rate that generates productive gains is for them to have access to their earnings with a faster turn-around. Usually invoices or receivables from services rendered and products delivered take about 30 to 60 days for payments to be received and that amount of time is what First Circle is able to give businesses back, what they would otherwise lose out on,” Lynch said.
A former associate of global financial firm Morgan Stanley, Lynch co-founded First Circle in 2015 and officially launched it exactly a year later last October 2016.
Acudeen was founded in March 31, 2016 and won the Seedstars Manila startup competition two months later on May 21, and then went on to bag the YE! Community Award at the Startup Summit Philippines 2016 last October.
Acudeen CEO Magellan Fetalino III noted they focus on invoice discounting and finding the right partners.
“We chose invoice discounting because we are forward-looking. We believe that a company’s assessment shouldn’t only be based on its credit history, but also on its unrecorded performance,” Fetalino said. “We are honored to partner with First Circle as they have the products and services that cater to our market and vision – a testament that they hold SMEs in high-regard.”
Acudeen will represent the Philippines at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland on March 2017 to compete for up to $1 million in equity investment, and will also go to Sweden for an all-expense paid Boost Camp Scholarship.