Funding Societies raises USD294m (RM1.23b) to fuel expansion plans in Southeast Asia

  • Southeast Asia’s largest SME digital financing platform raises USD144 million Series C+ equity and USD150 million debt lines from financial institutions in Europe, the United States, and Asia.

  • The round is led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with participation from VNG, Rapyd Ventures, EDBI, Indies Capital, Ascend Vietnam Ventures and existing shareholders like Sequoia Capital India and BRI Ventures.

  • Operating across five countries in Southeast Asia, the FinTech platform has disbursed over USD2 billion in business financing to MSMEs through more than 5 million financing deals.

Kuala Lumpur, 16 February 2022 - Funding Societies, Southeast Asia’s largest SME digital financing platform, today announced that it has raised* USD144 million (RM605 million) in an oversubscribed Series C+ equity round led by Japanese venture capital fund SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with new investors notably Vietnamese tech giant VNG Corporation, Rapyd Ventures, Asia-based global investor EDBI, Indies Capital, K3 Ventures, and Ascend Vietnam Ventures. The company also received USD150 million (RM630 million) in debt lines from institutional lenders across Europe, the United States, and Asia, some of which have been drawn down since 2021. This comes on the back of its USD45 million (RM189 million) Series C raised between 2020 and 2021. 

The funds solidify Funding Societies’ position as a market leader in digital financing, and propel its expense management, and business-to-business (B2B) payments services for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across Southeast Asia. It's latest fundraise also provides USD16 million (RM67 million) to former and existing employees via the company’s stock option plan, in the form of share buyback.

Funding Societies was founded in 2015 by Kelvin Teo and Reynold Wijaya to empower MSMEs in Southeast Asia. The FinTech platform addresses MSMEs’ key pain points for growth, starting with the region’s USD300 billion (RM1.26 trillion) financing gap. Although small enterprises make up almost 99% of total enterprises in Southeast Asia, they also face many hurdles in obtaining business financing from traditional financial institutions due to a lack of a credit track record or collateral to pledge. Funding Societies offers financing up to RM2 million, which can be disbursed in as fast as 24 hours, answering in a timely manner to MSMEs who face the pertinent challenge of accessing business funds. 

Instead of using a traditional corporate supply chain approach to financial inclusion, Funding Societies has differentiated itself as a one-stop shop in SME financing with an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-led credit model and value-added products to under-served businesses. A recent impact study**, with calculations using methodology by the Asian Development Bank, revealed that Funding Societies-backed MSMEs contributed USD3.6 billion (RM15.1 billion) in gross domestic product (GDP) across Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. 

Seven years in, the FinTech company is now licensed in four countries across the region - Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and operating in Vietnam. To date, it has disbursed over USD2 billion (RM8.7 billion) in business financing to MSMEs through more than 5 million financing deals in Southeast Asia.

Co-founder and Group CEO, Kelvin Teo, said, “We’re honoured by the faith of our new and existing shareholders. We started Funding Societies | Modalku to empower SMEs by solving their biggest problem, access to financing, especially unsecured financing. A common misconception is that we compete with banks. The reality is we ‘compete’ with savings, friends and families, and personal credit cards. There is a huge unsecured financing gap because it takes patience and focus, or you risk losing a lot of money. Having proven our AI-led credit capabilities in an unprecedented financial crisis, we look to serve SMEs even better with neobanking and deeper regional presence in Southeast Asia.”

Meanwhile, Wong Kah Meng, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Funding Societies Malaysia, said, “We’re grateful for the trust of our shareholders. Having emerged stronger through the pandemic, we are expanding our suite of digital financial services offerings to elevate the financial well-being of unserved and underserved MSMEs in Malaysia.”

“SMEs across Southeast Asia have historically struggled to access institutional finance and instead been forced to mainly rely on personal funding to support growth”, said Greg Moon, Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “Funding Societies is establishing a bridge for these companies to access more sustainable and cheaper financing by building unique data sets on their performance and using AI-led technology to assess their creditworthiness more effectively than traditional models. We are delighted to partner with Funding Societies to support their mission to improve societies in Southeast Asia by funding worthy and underserved SMEs.”

Funding Societies’ annualised loan origination has exceeded USD1 billion (RM4.2 billion) in Q4 2021. Separately, a portion of the Group’s outstanding loan exposure comes from Europe-based institutional lenders. In Malaysia, it has recently announced a major achievement of RM1 billion disbursement in business financing across more than 17,000 financing deals, directly uplifting thousands of local SMEs.

Since 2019, Funding Societies has expanded its suite of financial services beyond lending and plans to bring its operations to more locations in Southeast Asia within the next 12 months.


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Funding Societies is a SME Digital Financing Platform registered with Securities Commission Malaysia. It does not fall under the jurisdiction of Bank Negara Malaysia. Therefore, financing products of Funding Societies should not be constructed as business loan, SME loan, micro loan, term loan or any other loans offered by banks in Malaysia and it is to be deemed as an investment note as defined in the Guidelines on Recognised Markets.

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