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Funding Societies raises US$27 million in debt funding from institutional investors to bridge credit gap for SMEs in Southeast Asia

September 26, 2023
Money Compass
5 mins read

First such debt transaction from all institutional investors with a SME FinTech lender in SEA

SINGAPORE, Sept. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Funding Societies | Modalku, the largest unified SME (small and medium enterprises) digital finance platform in Southeast Asia, announced it has successfully raised debt of US$27 million led by Asia-focused private credit financier AlteriQ Global, with multi-family office Aument Capital Partners (ACP), and sustainability-focused fund Orange Bloom who also invested in this debt funding round. The funds will be channeled via Funding Societies’ broad range of tailored financing solutions to support the underserved SME segments in the five markets it operates in.

Kelvin Teo, Co-founder and Group CEO, Funding Societies | Modalku

SMEs form the backbone of the economies in Southeast Asia. In the ASEAN region, there are more than 70 million businesses that are categorized as MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises), accounting 99% of total establishments and contributing to 44.8% of the region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Despite reports of increased access to credit for consumers, 39 million MSMEs in the region still face challenges to financing, according to the United Nations Capital Development Fund, this gap amounts up to US$300 billion. Funding Societies consistently continues to expand the range of access to its services through this funding, while supporting SMEs to maintain their business cash flow.

Co-Founder and Group CEO of Funding Societies | Modalku, Kelvin Teo, said, “We’re delighted to receive this debt funding from such a diverse group of institutional investors, all of whom believe in our mission and growth story of serving Southeast Asia’s SMEs. Amidst uncertain macroeconomic conditions, we continue to deepen our financing propositions across our five markets for more underserved SMEs, alongside existing and new partners.”

This debt fundraise will only further grow Funding Societies’ breadth of bridging the gap in financing to the SMEs it serves in Southeast Asia. In its mission and commitment to giving a fair opportunity for these businesses, the company has begun offering solutions beyond lending, such as payments and collections – with the ambition of solving cash flow management challenges faced by SMEs. Funding Societies has achieved over US$3.2 billion in business financing, processing more than 5 million transactions; serving about 100,000 SMEs across the region.

Managing Partner of AlteriQ Global, Zhi Yong Heng said, “We found great synergy and potential with what Funding Societies has accomplished through the years with its diverse digital financing solutions, the quality of their team and the many SMEs they have served. As one of the leading players in the digital financing space, this ties in very well with how AlteriQ Global strives to foster and provide a fully-integrated financing ecosystem. We look forward to supporting and collaborating with Funding Societies as they continue to grow in the region.”

With a strong focus on personalised and holistic financial strategies, ACP serves as a family office for its ultra-high-net-worth clients, ensuring the preservation and growth of generational wealth. Having known Funding Societies since its inception, ACP sees the company as a core partner in providing credit access to SMEs in the region – which would continue to be the case through its private debt vehicle for its family office clients.

On the other hand, Orange Bloom’s business is heading in a direction to broaden its scope and has transitioned to being a champion of sustainable causes. Its newly set-up Sustainability Fund is aimed at providing financial support to businesses (mainly SMEs) and individuals to counter climate change, transition to more sustainable practices towards a low-carbon economy.

This synergises with how Funding Societies has started implementing its Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) since early this year across all its markets. It is an ESG (environment, social, governance) risk assessment framework designed with the technical assistance by the Dutch Good Growth Fund as part of the credit assessment part of the loan application process by an SME.

About Funding Societies | Modalku

Funding Societies | Modalku is the largest unified SME digital finance platform in Southeast Asia. It is licensed in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, registered in Malaysia, and operates in Vietnam. The FinTech company provides US$1 billion annually of business financing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Its recent strategic milestones include its acquisition of regional digital payments platform CardUp and co-investment into Bank Index in Indonesia.

Funding Societies | Modalku is backed by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, SoftBank Ventures Asia, Sequoia Capital India, Alpha JWC Ventures, SMBC Bank, BRI Ventures, VNG Corporation, Rapyd Ventures, Endeavor, EBDI, SGInnovative, Qualgro, and Golden Gate Ventures among others. It has received accolades from Brands for Good (2019, 2023), Global SME Excellence Award, Global SME Finance Awards by IFC (2021-2023) Global Startup Awards (2020), MAS FinTech Award (2016, 2021) and more. For more information, please visit: www.fundingsocieties.com

About AlteriQ Global

AlteriQ is an Asia-focused private credit strategy with a strong edge in Southeast Asia. AlteriQ is dedicated to building a fully integrated financing ecosystem as a capital partner with regional presence, proprietary network of relationships, and risk management expertise. AlteriQ offers tailored financing solutions to portfolio companies and partners and unlocks value through its resources and ecosystem. Please visit www.alteriqcapital.com for more information.

About Aument Capital Partners

Aument Capital Partners is a multi-family office geared towards entrepreneurs, offering comprehensive family office services from investment management, reporting, consolidation, cashflow planning and access to its venture partner programme. For more information, please visit www.aument-capital.com.

About Orange Bloom

Orange Bloom started out in 2012 as a ship-recycling consultancy and provider of turn-key solutions to ship-owners for their ship decommissioning requirements within the South-east Asia region. Having realized in hindsight that our ship-recycling business had all the hallmarks of the ‘Circular Economy’, Orange Bloom decided to broaden its scope and transitioned into a champion of sustainable causes / ideas. To this end, Orange Bloom has recently set-up The Orange Bloom Sustainability Fund that provides financial support to individuals/SMEs that are working on projects that counter climate change, advance environmental sustainability and involve the communities in Asia. Orange Bloom also assists SMEs to transition to a low-carbon economy. Please visit www.orangebloom.world for more.