Validus, Singapore’s small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) financing platform that is also present in Indonesia (Batumbu) and Vietnam (Validus Vietnam), successfully raised over $14 million, with $20 million in committed capital in its ongoing Series B+ funding round co-led by Vertex Growth Fund (Vertex Growth) and Kuok Group's Orion Fund managed by K3 Venture Partners.
They join Validus’ investors, including FMO (Netherlands’ public-private development bank), Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, Openspace Ventures, Thailand’s AddVentures (Siam Cement Group) and Vietnam’s VinaCapital Ventures who return to fund and support the company in this latest round.
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Singapore, Validus brings together accredited individual and institutional lenders and SMEs. It obtained its capital markets services licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore in December 2017. Since then, Validus has expanded into Indonesia and Vietnam, and has successfully topped $315 million in business funding, a record for peer-to-peer lending platforms in Singapore.
With fresh funding, Validus will continue to invest heavily in technology and innovation and solidify its position in the three ASEAN countries it’s present in. It will also fund the upcoming new venture in Thailand slated for the fourth quarter of 2020.
"Fintechs with a robust platform and resilient leadership, who are able to survive and thrive in these unprecedented times will be leaders of tomorrow. We are grateful and honoured by the vote of confidence from our Investors,” Validus’ co-founder Nikhilesh Goel said. “We’d also like to commend the Singapore government for the extensive SME relief measures designed to help businesses tide over these trying times, as well as the various government agencies who work closely with many financial institutions and platforms including Validus to further support SMEs and help to bolster their frontline responses to the pandemic.”
“The industry is crossing an inflection point where demand for SME growth financing and cash flow management is increasing exponentially, and we are confident that the Validus is well-positioned to meaningfully address the SME financing gap as they continue their prudent approach to growth during this period,” Vertex Growth’s managing director James Lee added.
MX Kuok of K3 Ventures, on the other hand, shared, “We are highly impressed by the leadership and depth of credit management experience at Validus. The team has demonstrated the unique ability to capture critical data points, combined with comprehensive machine learning capabilities to identify high-potential SMEs that may have fallen through the gaps of the traditional banking model.”
Based on a study from Validus’ Economic Impact Report conducted in November 2019, over 300,000 Singaporeans had directly or indirectly benefited from Validus’ SME financing platform. SMEs that obtained financing from the platform experienced a 17% increase in their annual revenue in 2018.
The gross domestic product (GDP) contribution from Validus-supported SMEs grew by 18%, while the overall GDP contribution by Singapore’s businesses was 5% in the same year. SMEs that obtained financing from Validus also experienced robust employment growth of 12% as compared to 1% overall employment growth of Singapore’s businesses.
To address the SME financing gap regionally, Validus launched its Indonesian entity Batumbu and Vietnam entity Validus Vietnam last May and November, respectively, to help drive business financing for this sector in the region.
Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker