SG’s Funding Societies garners investment from Samsung Venture

Kelvin Teo (left), co-founder and CEO Funding Societies, and Reynold Wijaya, co-founder of the company.

Samsung Venture Investment Corp. led a funding round in peer-to-peer (P2P) digital lending platform Funding Societies, also known as Modalku in Indonesia, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

Crunchbase said the fundraising was a venture round, after a funding round in September and a Series C in June.

In addition, fintech Funding Societies, which focuses on small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and Samsung Ventures, along with Samsung Life Insurance, will tie up for partnerships and collaboration, the statement said.

Samsung Ventures is the investment arm of South Korean conglomerate Samsung Group, and invests in sectors including IT, semiconductors, software and biotechnology, the statement said.

“Samsung Ventures is focused on investing in companies at the forefront of innovative technology. Funding Societies’ digital financing solutions effectively bridge the SME credit gap in Southeast Asia and we are confident that they will continue to lead the region’s digital lending industry and finance the future of these economies,” a representative from Samsung said in the statement.

The fresh funds from Samsung Ventures will be used to expand the technology team with hires across the region, Singapore-based Funding Societies said.

In a July 2019 report, consultancy McKinsey & Co. noted that SMEs contribute 54 percent of Asia’s gross domestic product, but only make up 25 percent of total banking revenues before risk costs.

The report said most of Asia’s SMEs use non-bank sources for working capital. McKinsey forecast that the SME loan portfolio in the region would grow at a 9.1 percent compound annual growth rate to $23 trillion in 2025.

The 2020 e-Conomy report from Google, Temasek and Bain & Co. estimated that Southeast Asia’s digital lending loan book – both for businesses and for consumers — remained flat this year at $23 billion, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but would grow by 32 per cent to $92 billion by 2025. It estimated that around 3 per cent of digital lending this year went to SMEs.

Funding Societies, which claims to be Southeast Asia’s largest SME digital financing platform, said it has made more than S$1.8 billion ($1.35 billion) over 3.3 million loans through November, and has increased its individual lender base to 200,000 since beginning operations in 2015. It is licensed in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The company has raised $112.5 million across seven funding rounds, with other investors including AMTD ASEAN-Solidarity Fund, BRI Ventures, Golden Gate, Sequoia Capital India, Softbank Ventures Asia, Qualgro VC, Line Corp., Alpha JWC Ventures and The Graduate Syndicate, according to Crunchbase data.  

The company has clarified that it has raised a total of $32 million in its Series A and Series B rounds, while the funds raised in its Series C remain undisclosed. DealStreetAsia could not independently verify Crunchbase data.

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.