Funding Societies, Southeast Asia’s largest SME digital financing platform, is now live in Thailand. On Feb 2nd, 2021, it was awarded the SEC debt crowdfunding license, enabling it to support Thai SMEs and startups in raising funds from retail and institutional investors. Founded on the belief that every deserving SME is entitled to obtaining business loans, the company is committed to providing access to investing to average investors while also giving entrepreneurs access to alternative capital providers.
While Thailand has more than 3 million SMEs, over half of them face multiple challenges in obtaining financing, especially to meet short term working capital requirements. Traditional financial institutions focus on long term and asset backed (collateralized) loans, leaving a SME financing gap of over $40 billion, as per the International Finance Corporation. This lack of funding has been exacerbated due to the pandemic as lenders have attempted to reduce their loan exposures in order to manage risk.
“SMEs contribute over 40% of Thai GDP but face numerous challenges in accessing finance from traditional sources due to lack of collateral, onerous document requirements and lengthy approval processes” says Varun Bhandari, Country Head of Funding Societies Thailand. “By leveraging technology, Funding Societies offers SMEs a new avenue for raising financing that is fast, affordable and convenient. Thai investors will also get an opportunity to diversify their investments and earn attractive fixed income returns, while supporting local businesses and brands.”
Funding Societies offers a range of collateral-free financing to help SMEs with their business expansion, working capital needs, or up-front project costs. Enabled by our proprietary technology, SMEs can fill out an easy online application, submit basic documents, and receive an approval within three days. The company has also established regional partnerships with companies such as Lazada, Zilingo and CIMB Bank, thus serving SMEs within their ecosystem.
Thai investors will soon be able to log in to the Funding Societies crowdfunding platform, and have a range of debt investment opportunities at their fingertips. Crowdfunding bonds offer diversification benefits, and can help enhance overall portfolio returns. Funding Societies’ strong risk management capabilities have restricted defaults to below 2%, even through the Covid-19 pandemic. With the debt crowdfunding license issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission, it will now bring its platform to Thailand to empower Thai SMEs and investors.