Singapore fintech Validus secures first tranche of Series C-1 round

Singapore fintech Validus secures first tranche of Series C-1 round

Validus Co-founders_Vikas Nahata and Nikhilesh Goel. Courtesy of Validus.

Singapore-based fintech firm Validus has secured the first tranche of funds in a Series C-1 round with new investors such as NongHyup Financial Group, NorinChukin Bank, Aizawa Asset Management, and Lotte F&L Singapore, the company said on Friday.

Existing investors Vertex SEA & India, Vertex Growth Fund, FMO, and VinaCapital Ventures also participated in the round.

The company will use the fresh funding proceeds to further develop and enhance its products and services, with a focus on enabling small businesses with faster and more convenient digital financing solutions.

Financial details of the round remain undisclosed.

According to DealStreetAsia’s DATA VANTAGE, Validus has raised a total of $64.48 million since 2018.

Validus co-founder and group CEO Nikhilesh Goel said that the company will break even in about two years. “As a group, we have proven that we have a clear path to profitability, and we’re on track to breakeven by 2024, with individual markets progressively achieving this milestone,” he said in a statement.

Along with the funding, Validus also announced the appointment of Vishal Shah as group COO. Shah will be responsible for the group’s business performance, as well as product & innovation, risk and data & analytics. Shah joined the company in January 2022 as president of emerging markets.

Founded in 2015, Validus provides SE Asian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) access to financing. The company currently has operations in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. To date, Validus has disbursed more than $2 billion in loans to small businesses across the four markets.

“The SMEs in Southeast Asia form the backbone of the economy, yet business owners constantly face critical issues such as a lack of access to credit and liquidity issues,” said Genping Liu, Partner at Vertex Ventures SEA & India. Validus has been giving the push for financial inclusion in the region by providing much-needed financing relief to SMEs, such as collateral-free financing options and liquidity through access to a pool of investors, he added.

The company recently launched a no-fee business account for SMEs and startups in Singapore, offering cost savings with 1% cashback on all corporate card spend, zero fee FX services, and monthly cashback on FAST payments-an electronic funds transfer service that enables customers to transfer Singapore dollar funds from one bank to another in the city-state instantly.

“We’re seeing strong traction on our business account with existing and new customers. Customers have given us good feedback on the simplicity of use and speed, and this is evidenced by the fact that we’re seeing healthy growth in gross transaction value (GTV) within only a few weeks of our soft launch in August 2022,” said the firm’s co-founder and executive chairman Vikas Nahata.

In March, Validus agreed to acquire the loan portfolio of Citi Singapore’s small business banking unit, CitiBusiness, for an undisclosed amount. Validus said the deal marked the first time for a fintech company in Southeast Asia to acquire an established bank’s loan portfolio and customer base.

It also partnered with Citibank to establish a $100-million securitisation facility that is collateralised by SME loans originated by Validus in Singapore.

Validus is backed by venture investors, including FMO, Vertex Growth, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, AddVentures by SCG, K3 Ventures, Openspace Ventures, and VinaCapital Ventures.

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