This Singapore startup aims to make short-term biz loans simple via crowdsourcing

Visual from the company's social media page

Singapore’s alternate finance industry has been witnessing frantic activity off late. Several crowdfunding sites have propped up in the recent past. On Tuesday, a new venture capital backed peer-to-peer lending platform – Capital Match – launched operations officially with the aim of helping local small and medium sized businesses obtain loans financed by individual investors.

Capital Match said its objectives were two-fold: Provide business borrowers with the next best interest rates after banks, and give investors access to an attractive yield with a low investment entry amount.

For now, it is restricted to Singapore registered businesses, and typical loan sizes range from S$50,000 to S$200,000, with tenures of 3-12 months, and interest rate of 1.5% – 2.5% per month.

Put simply, Capital Match’s business model is similar that of popular P2P platforms such as US-based LendingClub and Prosper, UK’s Zopa and Funding Circle, with its value proposition – speed and efficiency through technology – also in line with such platforms globally. Capital Match provides each investor with an online account where they can view available loan listings, make investments and monitor their loan book.

The company said it was targeting investors who wished to add a fixed-income return to their portfolio, and also diversify away from asset classes such as equities and real estate, even as it highlighted that the platform could produce monthly returns of up to 2 per cent with a short commitment of 3 – 12 months

While such platforms, that offer borrowers and lenders a better deal,  have been operational for years in the US and Europe, Asia in particular has woken up to this phenomenon only recently. Last year alone, P2P lending platforms in the United States arranged almost $9 billion  of loans.

“The SMEs we speak to tell us it is increasingly difficult for them to get loans from banks”, said Pawel Kuznicki, an ex-management consultant formerly from Rocket Internet, who co-founded the company with Kevin Lim, an ex-investment banker and Arnaud Bailly, a software engineer. Prior to this, Lim has had stints with JP Morgan, Macquarie Capital and Standard Chartered, while Baily had been with Murex.

“P2P lending will provide a much needed source of alternative financing for our local SMEs. We chose to start our operations in Singapore because of the robust regulatory and legal framework, but we have ambitions to grow regionally”, Kuznicki added.

According to Lim, ‘banks do not see P2P lending platforms as competition, but rather filling a gap in the banking ecosystem’.

“We want to help SMEs build their credit history and eventually be able to go back to their bank for a loan,” he added.

Capital Match said it had already completed two loans totaling S$250,000 since its first listing in February 2015.

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.