2022 has been nothing short of volatile. Yet, we at Funding Societies have managed to weather the tumultuous market conditions brought about by the current global slowdown, achieving many strategic milestones throughout the year. Let’s take stock of what we’ve done: here’s Funding Societies’ Year in Review 2022! ⏪
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In February, we raised a historic US$294 million Series C+ round, unprecedented by any FinTech company in the region! Of that amount, US$144 million was in equity. We also received US$150 million in debt lines from institutional lenders across Europe, the United States, and Asia, some of which have been drawn down since 2021. The funds solidify our position as a market leader in digital financing, and propels our expense management, and B2B payments services for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across Southeast Asia. Indeed, the financial support garnered from this round advances our mission to finance worthy and underserved MSMEs, uplifting Southeast Asian societies in the long run. 👏
In the same month, we launched our Express Business Term Loans (BTL) through our subsidiary company, FS Capital Pte. Ltd., to better address the financing needs of companies who need a higher credit limit. Like our Micro Loans, these Express BTL have a fast approval process and are easily accessible, allowing applicants a credit limit of up to S$200,000. Concurrently, we partnered with foodpanda to provide pre-approved loan offers to assist all foodpanda partners with their business financing needs, which includes a faster turnaround and lower financing costs to grow a business.
And then it felt like March rolled around too quickly! March was the month where we took our growth to a whole new level and unveiled our game-changing product, Elevate*. Elevate is a business expense solution containing a credit line, granted by FS Capital Pte. Ltd., and an add-on virtual card, powered by MatchMove, developed in partnership with MastercardⓇ. Getting down to the brass tacks, Elevate’s credit line entitles qualified MSMEs to interest-free credit for a period of up to 55 days and is available to apply on our website. Users who also applied for the add-on virtual card can use it through our FS Business – Elevate Card mobile app. This powerful solution for business expenses comes timely for business owners who are looking for a convenient way to manage and spend their budget, and to improve cash flow all within one platform. Currently, Elevate is available in Singapore and we plan to roll this out across the region over time! 🌏
Notably, we also announced our Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) buyback for existing and former employees worth US$16 million as well as our partnership with Opal to set up a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) financial plan. In the former, all eligible former and current Funding Societies employees would have a right to sell their shares at no discount to incoming investors, as compared to the customary 20% discount in the industry. Whereas for the latter, our collaboration with Opal offers a BNPL credit line for Opal users who are transacting overseas. The BNPL solution enables them to get financing for their overseas transactions and boost cashflow.
Along the same lines in April, we partnered a decentralised digital document and workflow management platform, Dedoco, to enable MSMEs in Singapore to sign loan contracts via the country’s digital signing service, Sign with Singpass. Sign with Singpass allows our SMEs to digitally sign documents using their signing certificate contained in their Singpass app, where the digital signature generated is cryptographically linked to the signer, providing businesses with higher assurance of the authenticity and integrity of the signed documents. This rollout further simplifies our current digital Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process, enabling us to serve more underserved MSMEs within the same timeframe. 💪🏻
Within the same month, Funding Societies made another milestone when we announced our co-investment with used car marketplace, Carro, into Bank Index (PT. Bank Index Selindo), an Indonesian national Bank, taking FinTech-bank collaboration to the next level. This is a significant move for us as we expand our solutions beyond lending and offer more high-impact digital financial services to underserved businesses in the region.
Our growth does not stop here. The month of May saw the official launch of our fifth market expansion in Southeast Asia – Vietnam! Vietnam’s SMEs make up 98% of the country’s operating business in 2020. However, only 54% of them have been active since the pandemic. Having recognised its growing yet financially underserved SME landscape, addressing the SME financing gap in Vietnam was a natural next step for us as we push further into Southeast Asia. We hope that our entry into Vietnam can provide the necessary support for the country’s burgeoning SME landscape as we continue to serve the needs of millions of SMEs in the region.
The month concludes with the introduction of our Account Payable (AP) Financing product, a cash advance that businesses can receive on their purchases, as part of our efforts to address the shortage of credit terms for payment to business suppliers, and to boost their working capital and operational needs.
Approaching the halfway point of 2022 in June, we celebrate our recent acquisition** of CardUp, a regional payments solution. Through the move, Funding Societies 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 licences and integrations with renowned third-party business software. These payment capabilities complement our lending products, and in so doing, help us attain our goal to offer a unified financial experience for SMEs to manage and pay expenses, receive payments, and borrow funds all within one digital platform.
August was an equally happening month for us! We signed a US$50 million credit facility with HSBC Singapore to continue expanding our reach to serving underserved SMEs. This marks a critical milestone for us and is a testament to our credit track record through Covid-19. We are optimistic that HSBC’s foresight, global capabilities, and scalable approach can further equip us to better serve our SME clients.
Furthermore, we strengthened our ecosystem of partners. This comprises Singlife who we collaborated with to extend Elevate to a wider audience, Sourcesage where we cross-marketed each other’s products (Sourcesage’s B2B Ecommerce platform and Elevate) and co-ran an event at Singapore Business Federation (SBF) later in September, as well as Instarem whose customers we offered our express AP financing at discounted rates.
Similarly in September and October, we established more partnerships. This is namely with Payboy, an established cloud-based human resource management software company, where we extended our solutions to their network, value-adding the product diversity for customers from both companies. We also worked closely with multinational online payments platform, Airwallex to offer our Express BTL on their platform. Such fast and hassle-free loan package processes have provided AirWallex customers the financial backing to grow and mature into bigger businesses.
We are proud of forging these partnerships; it is a win for us as extending ourselves across these networks helps us to make SME financing and payments easier for many more businesses! 🏆
In November, Funding Societies co-hosted our CFO Networking Night with Endowus. The event allowed us to network with key finance decision makers while discussing new and important innovative solutions for credit and yield generation. 🤑
We are also happy to report that in the same month, 71% of our investors switched on the Auto-Invest function and 67% of them Auto-Invested successfully!
Retrospectively, we have made much growth and progress this year, and we believe the momentum is set to continue moving forward. As global headwinds start to blow and threaten to derail a full economic recovery in Southeast Asia, we remain fervent in providing ample and vital support for every MSME in need.
Do look out for our updates as we prepare for more exciting things in 2023!
Wishing everyone Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! 🎆
*Disclaimer: Elevate is not a credit card product. Elevate is a combination of a credit line facility offered by FS Capital Pte Ltd, with the convenience of quick and easy utilisation at any Mastercard accepted store or merchant via a virtual card separately powered by Mastercard and Matchmove. For more information, please refer to the Product Disclosure Sheet and Facility Terms and Conditions. Brought to you by FS Capital Pte. Ltd.
**Subject to regulatory approvals.
The information provided to you in this blog post is intended only for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. The materials and the information provided are not intended to be and do not constitute an advertisement or solicitation. In no event will Funding Societies be liable to any party for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or punitive damages for use of such information by you or any unauthorised third party.