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SoftBank backs Southeast Asia P2P firm in $25m series B round

A bevy of top investors have piled into the landmark fundraise.

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Funding Societies, a leading peer-to-peer lender in Southeast Asia, has raised $25m in series B funding.

SoftBank Ventures Korea led the round, with existing investors Sequoia India, Alpha JWC Ventures (Indonesia) and Golden Gate Ventures also participating. Qualgro and LINE Ventures also crammed into the oversubscribed fundraise. SoftBank Ventures Korea, however, supplied the ‘lion’s share’ of the money.

It is being hailed as the largest fundraise to date for a peer-to-peer firm operating in Southeast Asia. In addition to the equity backing, Funding Societies (which is known as Modalku in Indonesia) has secured credit lines from a number of banks and financial institutions.

“SoftBank Ventures Korea has been actively investing across Southeast Asia. SME digital lending across Southeast Asia is where we saw a huge growth potential. Among many players, we were most impressed with Funding Societies with what it has achieved in the short period of time and its potential to continue to become no. 1 player,” said Sean Lee, partner and managing director at SoftBank Ventures Korea.

Funding Societies lends money from individuals and institutional investors to small businesses via an online platform – a la Funding Circle in the UK – across Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. It was founded in 2015 in 2015 by Reynold Wijaya and Kelvin Teo (pictured), and claims to have crossed the SGD$100m mark in cumulative loans in January of this year, while maintaining a default rate of less than 1.5 per cent. Its investor base is said to have swelled to over 60,000.

“Being in a trust-based industry, we’re grateful for the confidence bestowed by our lenders, SMEs, team, partners, regulators, as well as early and new marquee investors,” said Teo, the platform’s co-foudner and CEO. “We will continue to enable growth for SMEs and create wealth for lenders. As for us, this is not a business, but a mission, to make a positive impact in our home countries across Southeast Asia.”

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