Singapore: SmartFunding closes $492k seed in round led by Fintech Asia Group

Visual of Smartfunding.sg website. November 2016

SmartFunding, a peer-to-business (P2B) platform that provides alternative financing solutions to small and medium businesses, has secured SG$700,000 ($492,396) in seed funding led by Fintech Asia Group, part of ASX-listed venture builder Fatfish Internet Group and Investorlend, an investment firm in Australia.

According to a press release, the P2B invoice financing platform bridges the SME funding gap by allowing them to sell their yet-to-be-paid invoices to investors who want to purchase future cash flows.

SmartFunding acts as a dis-intermediating platform matching SMEs with investors. It claims that investors on its platform stand to make high returns of between 20 per cent and 30 per cent in returns per annum through purchasing invoices sold by SMEs.

SmartFunding operates by sourcing for investors; conducting credit assessment of invoice sellers and invoice debtors (those to whom the unpaid invoice was issued); legal servicing and facilitation of transactions; fund disbursement and monthly payments collection; and bad debt resolution.

Sandra Ernst, CEO of SmartFunding, said, “We want Singapore’s SMEs to benefit from a flexible way to improve their cash flow. We look forward to working closely with our invoice sellers and investors to ensure that our platform is aligned with the interests of both parties, where risks are credibly managed and transparency is upheld.”

In addition to her current role, according to her LinkedIn profile, Ernst also heads Fintech Ventures at the Fatfish Internet Group. Given her extensive background in Islamic finance, it is likely that SmartFunding may target markets like Malaysia and Indonesia in the near future as it scales.

Given the possibility of a recession in 2017 and  that the city-state’s open economy is likely to face short and medium term impacts from a forecasted slump in the global economy, coupled with restructuring, it is likely that invoice trading and investments will see a boost in the coming years.

Also Read:

Australia’s $16b pension fund steps onto banks’ turf

UAE supply chain finance startup Invoice Bazaar closes investment from Advance Global Capital

Invoice financing platform Capital Springboard launches in Singapore

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.