Filipino fintech startup First Circle has raised a US$26 million Series A funding round led by Venturra Capital, Tech In Asia reported.

Insignia Ventures Partners, Silverhorn Investment Advisors, and Tryb Group also participated in the funding round.

The company plans to use the new funding to expand within the Filipino market, with long-term plan to enter other Southeast Asian markets.

It will also use the funding to increase its capital base to over US$100 million next year.

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This funding round followed an undisclosed investment First Circle has raised from Accion Venture Lab and Deep Blue VC in April 2017.

It has also raised a US$1.2 million seed funding from Key Capital, 500 Startups, and IMJ Investment Partners in October 2016.

Founded in 2016, First Circle is an online lending platform that focusses on helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It develops proprietary software and credit scoring to increase capital access to unbankable communities.

What sets First Circle apart from its peer is the fact that the company also lends from its own balance sheet, instead of just partnering with third parties.

Since early 2018, it claimed to have lent US$75 million to businesses with just one per cent non-performing ratio.

Image Credit: Bash Carlos on Unsplash