Singapore’s Validus Capital raises $15.2m in Series B funding led by Dutch bank FMO

From L to R: Arno de Vette, Senior Investment Officer, FMO; Vikas Nahata, Co-founder and executive chairman, Validus Capital; Ajit Raikar, co-founder and CEO, Validus Capital; and Liu Genping, Partner, Vertex Ventures

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.

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.