Acquisition of the digital payments platform will take place in June and is subject to regulatory approvals
The digital lender will benefit from CardUp’s range of payment technologies and solutions, further expanding its services beyond lending
(Left to right): Kelvin Teo, Co-founder and Group CEO, Funding Societies | Modalku; Nicki Ramsay, Founder and CEO, CardUp
KUALA LUMPUR, 29 JUNE 2022 - Funding Societies, Southeast Asia’s largest SME digital financing platform, today announced that it is acquiring regional payments solution, CardUp, for an undisclosed amount*. Through the move, the company will acquire CardUp’s payments capabilities such as card payments to non-card accepting recipients (domestic and cross-border), online payments acceptance, invoice automation tools as well as its licenses and integrations with renowned third-party business software. CardUp’s payment services will complement Funding Societies’ lending products, to offer a unified financial experience for SMEs across the region, enabling SMEs to manage and pay expenses, receive payments, and borrow funds all within one seamless digital platform.
The acquisition comes off the back of Funding Societies’ recent Series C+ raise of US$294 million (RM1.29 billion) in February 2022, of which US$144 million (RM633.53 million) was raised in equity, and its recent investment into Bank Index in Indonesia, launch of business virtual card Elevate in Singapore and entry into Vietnam, strengthening the company’s suite of financial services for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Launched in 2016, CardUp is a Singapore-based payments solution that helps individuals and businesses to make payments to suppliers and collect payments from customers digitally. With presence in Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, CardUp has served tens of thousands of businesses including micro businesses, SMEs, and corporates across a spectrum of B2B and C2B industries. These businesses use CardUp for payments related to payroll, rent, corporate tax, vendor payments, receivables flows, and cross-border expenses. CardUp sees huge demand from businesses looking to save time and money through payment digitization, which is reflected in its rapid growth, increasing 53% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ).
Co-founder and Group CEO of Funding Societies | Modalku, Kelvin Teo, said, “Having known Nicki and CardUp since 2018, we find CardUp has a great cultural and strategic fit. Acquiring CardUp enables us to leapfrog and accelerate our market leadership in the regional FinTech space, integrating payments capabilities, enhanced user experience and local licenses to our digital lending experience across key markets. We are excited to work with the CardUp team and are honored to join forces with them.”
The acquisition comes at the right juncture as SMEs are expected to push ASEAN’s digital finance market to US$60 billion (RM263.64 billion) in revenues by 2025 and contribute 17% of the financial services industry’s total revenue, while the region’s business payments sector grows at a CAGR of 10% over the next five years. The transaction supports the current drive of ASEAN SMEs to digitally transform their financial processes, to save time and money, and to better serve their customers via next-generation financial tools and services.
Founder and CEO of CardUp, Nicki Ramsay, said, “We have long recognized Funding Societies as the regional leader in SME financing and a complementary counterpart to our expertise in payments. This acquisition reflects strong strategic and cultural synergy with both parties aligned on the mission to help SMEs improve the way they operate their business and manage cash flow. We are confident that CardUp and our employees are in good hands with Kelvin and his team, and we look forward to this next chapter of growth.”
Once the acquisition is finalized and approved by the regulators, Funding Societies will welcome Nicki Ramsay into its management team to lead its payments business while retaining all of CardUp’s employees across Asia. CardUp will continue to operate its consumer and business services and maintain its long-standing relationships with card networks, issuers, and media partners. Funding Societies and CardUp will tap into strong synergies in the form of complementary talent, technologies, as well as bank and technology partnerships to further empower SMEs in Southeast Asia.
With more than 50% market share in Malaysia, Funding Societies leads the SME digital financing industry via their tailored financing solutions befitting the varied business needs of SMEs. With a fully online onboarding process, the platform addresses typical challenges faced by SMEs when obtaining financing solutions including collateral requirement, physical documentation submission, and lengthy processes. Regionally, the platform has disbursed RM10.28 billion in business financing across 5.1 million financing deals to-date.
*Subjected to and pending regulatory approvals
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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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