Leading SME lending platform Validus the first fintech approved as a PFI by Enterprise Singapore
SINGAPORE, Oct. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Southeast Asia's leading SME lending platform Validus Capital (Validus) is Singapore's first fintech to be approved as a Participating Financial Institution (PFI) under Enterprise Singapore's Enterprise Financing Scheme. This is the first time that fintechs have been onboarded under the scheme, alongside local banks and established financial institutions such as DBS, OCBC Bank, United Overseas Bank and Hong Leong Finance Ltd.
The appointment recognises and emphasises Validus' strong track record and commitment to Singapore in supporting the nation's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Validus has disbursed over S$550 million in SME loans and have helped boost lending in key supply chains since its founding in 2015.
"As the largest SME financing platform in Singapore, we understand how access to affordable financing can enable SMEs' exponential growth, and we are capable of assisting those who are cash-strapped to seek funding. Specifically, in a 2019 study, SMEs supported by Validus in Singapore saw a 17% increase in revenue on average, and supported more than 10,000 jobs," noted Ajit Raikar, co-founder and executive chairman of Validus.
"As the global health crisis continues to inflict hardship on every sector, we've witnessed a sustained demand for unsecured loans from viable SMEs not just in Singapore, but across all our markets in the region, looking to prime their business for recovery and growth. We hope that the other countries will also introduce similar government schemes for fintechs and SMEs, where fintechs like Validus can play a crucial role in reaching out to the viable SMEs and offer them growth financing."
Under the Enterprise Financing Scheme, Validus will provide working capital solutions to SMEs. The government-assisted financing and risk-sharing schemes are part of the Singapore government's initiatives to help support the needs of local businesses especially during the pandemic. These schemes offer up to 90% risk sharing when financing is given to SMEs by the participating financial institutions (Validus included now). The PFIs must follow due process as listed and agreed with Enterprise Singapore for the disbursements.
Mr Nikhilesh Goel, co-founder and CEO of Validus shared, "Validus would like to thank Enterprise Singapore for their trust and confidence in us to help support the backbone of the nation - our SMEs. Through these government-assisted schemes, we look forward to playing a much larger role in addressing the financing needs of underserved SMEs and those impacted by the pandemic."
With a huge addressable market in the region, Validus is going full throttle in bridging the SME financing gap. It has seen acceleration in each of its markets in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, helping local businesses increase trade and create employment. Both Validus Vietnam and Batumbu (Validus' Indonesian arm) have shown 500% growth in the last four months, with close to zero default rates due to Validus' data analytics and collaborative models. In solidifying its position as the leading SME financing platform in Southeast Asia, Siam Validus (Validus' Thailand arm) is due to launch early next year as a joint venture with one of Thailand's largest conglomerates who themselves have an SME ecosystem transaction volume of over US$5 billion annually.
In May, Validus successfully raised US$14 million in its ongoing Series B+ funding round led by Vertex Growth with follow-on funding from Vertex Ventures SEA & India. James Lee, Managing Director at Vertex Growth said, "The inclusion of Validus as a PFI by Enterprise Singapore is a reflection of Validus' immense potential, growing strength, and significant economic contributions to the region's financial landscape. We're very proud to join Validus in its journey to help more SMEs across SEA, supported by leading JV partners in each market."
The firm has also garnered a number of prestigious awards, including Best Supply Chain Finance Company Singapore 2020 and Best SME Financing Platform Singapore 2020 at the International Business Magazine Awards; and Best P2P Lending Platform Singapore 2020 by Global Banking & Finance Review.
Founded in 2015 to address the unmet financing needs of SMEs, Validus is today the largest SME lending marketplace in Singapore with a growing presence in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. An award-winning Fintech, Validus uses Data Analytics and AI to drive growth financing to the underserved SME sector via funds from HNWIs and institutional investors. Validus holds a Capital Markets Services Licence issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and its Indonesian arm Batumbu has received OJK registration in April 2019. For more information, please visit www.validus.sg.
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