Funding Societies raises US$294m to fuel expansion plans in SE Asia

PETALING JAYA: SME digital financing platform Funding Societies has raised US$144 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 Corp, Rapyd Ventures, Asia-based global investor EDBI, Indies Capital, K3 Ventures, and Ascend Vietnam Ventures.

The company also received US$150 million in debt lines from institutional lenders across Europe, the US, and Asia, some of which have been drawn down since 2021. This comes on the back of its US$45 million Series C raised between 2020 and 2021.

The funds solidify Funding Societies’ position in digital financing, and propel its expense management as well as business-to-business payments services for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) across Southeast Asia. Its latest fundraise also provides US$16 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 MSME in Southeast Asia. The fintech platform addresses MSME’s key pain points for growth, starting with the region’s US$300 billion 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 MSME who face the pertinent challenge of accessing business funds.

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