Singaporean startup Funding Societies, a company that facilitates lending between people and SMEs, announced today it has raised a S$10 million (US$7.5 million) Series A, the largest amount raised for a P2P lending platform in Southeast Asia.
The round was led by Sequoia Capital with participation from existing investors like Alpha JWC Ventures. Unnamed Harvard University professionals also invested in the startup.
The fundraising round comes just over a month after the company announced on June 28 it would be temporarily halting crowdfunding loan terms in order to comply with a June 9 regulatory change from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). As of today, the company has submitted its application and released an alternative product called ‘Invoice Financing’.
Invoice Financing allows for borrowers to sell future receivables and/or invoices to the debtors for cash.
The investment announced today will be used to improve customer experience, streamline the services between borrowers and lenders, and finance the operations behind compliance in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.
“We believe in working with the best in the industry and are proud to partner with Sequoia in this journey. Their experience investing in online lending platforms will bring Funding Societies to the next level. We will continue serving SMEs and lenders with the same focus on sustainable, quality growth,” said Funding Societies Co-founder Kelvin Teo in an official statement.
Funding Societies also wants to use the money to, “cement its position as an enterprise synonymous with trust and sustainability”.
Which makes sense because the company prides itself in its ‘safe growth’ mantra. It employs a proactive approach towards compliance and spent significant early capital on escrow agencies, strong credit assessment capabilities and lender regulations.
In a July 9 blog post detailing a loan repayment, the company highlighted the fact with the comment:
“To us, safe growth is more important than fast growth”.
Funding Societies was founded in 2015 and claims to have facilitated S$8.5 million (US$6.3 million) worth of loans to over 100 SMEs in Singapore.