Funding Societies raises $144 million in Series C+ funding

Funding

The company also received $150 million in debt lines from institutional lenders across Europe, the United States and Asia

Funding Societies, Southeast Asia’s largest SME digital financing platform, today announced that it has raised $144 million in an oversubscribed Series C+ equity round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with new investors notably Vietnamese tech giant VNG Corporation, Rapyd Ventures, Asia-based global investor EDBI, Indies Capital, K3 Ventures, and Ascend Vietnam Ventures.

The company also received $150 million in debt lines from institutional lenders across Europe, the United States, and Asia, some of which have been drawn down since 2021.

The funds solidify Funding Societies’ position as a market leader in digital financing, and propel its expense management, and B2B payments services for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across Southeast Asia. Its latest fundraise also provides $16 million to former and existing employees via the company’s stock option plan, in the form of share buyback.

Although small enterprises make up almost 99% of total enterprises in Southeast Asia, they also face many hurdles in obtaining business loans from traditional financial institutions due to a lack of a credit track record or collaterals to pledge.

Funding Societies offers micro loans from $500 up to $1.5 million, which can be disbursed in as fast as 24 hours, answering in a timely manner to MSMEs who face the pertinent challenge of accessing business funds.

Instead of using a traditional corporate supply chain approach to financial inclusion, Funding Societies has differentiated itself as a one-stop shop in SME financing with an AI-led credit model and value-added products to under-served businesses. A recent impact study, with calculations using methodology by the Asian Development Bank, revealed that Funding Societies-backed MSMEs contributed $3.6 billion in GDP.

Co-founder and Group CEO, Kelvin Teo, said: We’re honoured by the faith of our new and existing shareholders. We started Funding Societies to empower SMEs by solving their biggest problem, access to financing, especially unsecured financing. A common misconception is that we compete with banks. The reality is we ‘compete’ with savings, friends and families, and personal credit cards.

Teo said: There is a huge unsecured financing gap because it takes patience and focus, or you risk losing a lot of money. Having proven our AI-led credit capabilities in an unprecedented financial crisis, we look to serve SMEs even better with neobanking and deeper regional presence in Southeast Asia.

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