Funding Societies, the first and largest peer-to-peer (P2P) financing platform in Malaysia, has raised RM100 million in Series B funding. Led by Softbank Ventures Korea, the funding round also includes existing investors Sequoia India, Alpha JWC Ventures (Indonesia) and Golden Gate Ventures. Qualgro and LINE Ventures also participated in this over-subscribed round.
The lion share investor is Softbank Ventures Korea, an early stage venture capital arm of Softbank Group famous for its US$ 100B Vision Fund. Softbank Group has also funded large alternative lenders like SoFi and Kabbage in US, as well as tech giants like Grab in Southeast Asia.
Sean Lee, Partner and Managing Director, Softbank Ventures Korea says, “SoftBank Ventures Korea has been actively investing across Southeast Asia. SME digital lending across Southeast Asia is where we saw a huge growth potential. Among many players, we were most impressed with Funding Societies with what it has achieved in the short period of time and its potential to continue to become no 1 player.”
This marks the largest funding round raised by a P2P financing platform in Southeast Asia. Funding Societies, which was founded by Kelvin Teo and Reynold Wijaya, is a P2P lending platform that connects small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia with retail and institutional investors. The platform has disbursed more than RM400 million in financing to SMEs across Southeast Asia whilst maintaining one of the lowest default rates of less than 1.5%. The platform has an investor base of more than 60,000 investors across the region.
Alternative financing platforms such as Funding Societies play a key role in supporting the financing needs of both unserved and underserved SMEs by connecting them with individuals and institutional investors both locally and globally. This is because an estimate cited by the Securities Commission (SC) reveals a significant RM80 billion gap in SME financing in Malaysia.
Wong Kah Meng, CEO of Funding Societies Malaysia says, “We are extremely humbled for the trust and support we have received from all our investors, SMEs, regulators, partners and renowned shareholders. This funding round will help advance our mission to improve the livelihoods of SMEs and individuals through greater access to financing and investments here at home in Malaysia and across Southeast Asia. Through our local experience, we recognize that there are significant and practical challenges in serving SMEs and individuals, leaving them side-lined by traditional institutions. The proceeds from this fundraising round will therefore enable us to further enhance our regional capabilities to more effectively serve SMEs and investors.”
Sequoia India, which led the Series A, remains steadfast in Funding Societies. Through its searing growth, Funding Societies remains dedicated to the vision of supporting underserved SMEs and improving societies in the region.