Singapore-based P2P lending platform Validus Capital has secured $15.2 million (S$20.5 million) in a Series B funding led by FMO, a development bank from the Netherlands.
Other investors in this round include Taiwan’s Cathay Financial Holdings, Singapore’s Openspace Ventures (previously NSI Ventures), Temasek’s investment arm Vertex Ventures, Thailand’s AddVentures by SCG and Vietnam’s VinaCapital Ventures.
According to Validus, the funds will be invested in technology and data analytics, particularly in artificial intelligence and machine learning. It will also invest in market expansion into Indonesia in Q2 and Vietnam at the end of this year.
Validus shared that it has finalised a joint venture with the Rachmat family to operate in Indonesia. The venture will be conducted through the Rachmat family’s holding company, PT Triputra Investindo Arya.
According to Indonesian regulations, a foreign entity has to be at least 15 per cent owned by a local partner. No details on the size of the Rachmat’s stake was disclosed.
Validus added that it has registered itself with the Financial Services Authority (OJK), and will be able to begin operations in the next one or two months. The company has given itself 1-1.5 years for its operations to fully launch in the market, and said it will be eligible to apply for a P2P licence at least one year after registration.
Validus has been in Singapore since 2015, which remains its main market. The company claims to have driven $133.1 million (S$180 million) in business funding domestically, and disbursed over 2,800 loans to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
Ajit Raikar, CEO and co-founder, Validus Capital, said: “Southeast Asia is one of the fastest growing economic regions globally, where there is a clear need for alternative financing platforms such as Validus to complement the traditional banking and financial infrastructures. Having a strong team, technology and data science capabilities has allowed us to partner with strategic global investors for our next growth stage. This reaffirms that we are well on track to deliver on our strong growth forecasts, and our ambition to become a digital ‘bank-like’ fintech for underserved SMEs is well supported with two leading sovereign funds investing into Validus.”
This funding round in Validus Capital is FMO’s first fintech investment in Southeast Asia. It is also FMO’s first direct investment in a venture deal in this region. The Dutch development bank has an investment portfolio of $10.4 billion (€9.2 billion), 28 per cent of which is exposed to Asia. FMO focuses on developing markets, covering sectors such as financial institutions, energy and agribusiness.