Singapore’s online lending platform Aspire raises $9m in Insignia-backed round

Yinglan Tan

Singapore-based Insignia Ventures Partners, founded by ex-Sequoia Asia partner Yinglan Tan, has participated in the $9-million seed round of Aspire, a Southeast Asia-focused lending platform headquartered in the city-state.

Other investors who joined the round include Mark 2 Capital and Hummingbird Ventures. Y Combinator, the Silicon Valley accelerator, is also among Aspire’s investors.

“Aspire provides incredibly easy and affordable service for small businesses to thrive and solve cash flow challenges. We are impressed with the technical capability of the Aspire team and thrilled to partner with them in pursuing this important mission,” Tan Yinglan, founding managing partner of Insignia Ventures Partners, told this portal in an email.

Aspire Financial Technologies Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Aspire Financial Technologies Holdings, was established in January 2018 by Andrea Baronchelli, former Lazada Singapore’s chief marketing officer, and Giovanni Casinelli, who founded other startups including CryptoJobs and Meteor.link.

The startup attempts to provide ‘fast and simple access to funding’ for small businesses with a ticket size of between $3,700 and $74,000 which can be repaid between three to six months.

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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.