February 17

Funding Societies Raises $294 Million to Back South-East Asia’s SMEs

Small businesses are the backbone of the global economy – the entrepreneurial and innovative enterprises that will power the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. But small businesses the world over suffer from the same problem: all too often they struggle to access the finance they need to grow. That requires new solutions – and in South-East Asia, Funding Societies thinks it can help.

The business, founded in 2015 by Kelvin Teo and Reynold Wijaya, is today announcing a $144m Series C+ fundraising led by Softbank’s Vision Fund 2, as well as $150m of new debt lines from financial institutions in Europe, the United States and Asia. It offers a range of loans and credit products to small businesses in the region – advances start at as little as $500 but can be as large as $1.5m.

“We genuinely wanted to empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs),” recalls Teo of the business’s launch. “We could see this huge opportunity for these businesses to benefit from the region’s demographic dividend, but we could also see many were going to miss out with access to finance.”

Photo courtesy of Evgeny Nelmin.
business development, innovation