Funding Societies Acquires Digital Payments Platform, CardUp

Funding Societies today announced that it is acquiring regional payments solution, CardUp, for an undisclosed amount.

The digital financing platform will acquire CardUp’s commercial 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.

In the official statement released by Funding Societies, it says, “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).

For background understanding, 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).

“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,” Co-founder and Group CEO of Funding Societies | Modalku, Kelvin Teo said.

“The acquisition,” according to the statement, “comes at the right juncture as SMEs are expected to push ASEAN’s digital finance market to US$60 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 is said to support 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.

Once the acquisition is finalized and approved by the regulators, Funding Societies will welcome Nicki Ramsay, CEO of CardUp, 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.

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