Singapore-based financing platform Validus secured its first tranche of funds in a Series C-1 round from new and key strategic investors like NongHyup Financial Group, NorinChukin Bank, Aizawa Asset Management and Lotte F&L Singapore.
In a statement released on Friday, Validus said, the funding round was also participated by early investors – Vertex SEA and India, Vertex Growth Fund, FMO and VinaCapital Ventures – from its previous fundraising rounds.
The success of Series C-1 signals investor confidence on the company’s growth trajectory and expansion plans, it added.
“Against the backdrop of a challenging macroeconomic and fundraising environment, Validus has continued to deliver quality growth, and we’re seeing positive upward trends across all key performance metrics – loan book size, revenue and profitability – even as we keep a tight lid on operating expenses,” Validus Co-Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer Nikhilesh Goel said.
As a group, Goel said, they were able to prove that they have a clear path to profitability as they remain on track to breakeven by 2024, with individual markets progressively achieving this milestone.
Validus recently launched its no-fee, all-in-one business account for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups in Singapore.
As the firm continues to see promising traction, they expect to onboard more than 1,000 customers and process more than SGD$30 million ($22.14 million) in monthly transaction volume by the end of December 2022.
In a statement, Validus Group said they have grown their monthly loan volumes by over 5 times and their loan book by 3.5 times in the last 24 months.
The firm has already disbursed over $2 billion worth of loans across Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand, and is on track to achieve profitability by 2024.
Their largest market to date is Indonesia, where they operate under the Batumbu brand. It is already profitable, becoming the first SME crowdfunding platform to achieve this milestone in the market to date.
Validus Co-founder and Executive Chairman Vikas Nahata said they are building a strong foothold in SME lending and their leading position as a credit-led, one-stop financial solutions provider for SMEs is beginning to pay off.
Nahata said they are now seeing strong traction on their business account with existing and new customers. And their customers have, so far, given good feedback on the simplicity of use and speed, and this is evidenced by the fact that they are now seeing extremely healthy growth in gross transaction value (GTV) within only a few weeks of their soft launch in August 2022.
Kijung Kwon, Managing Director at NH Absolute Return Partners, said they like Validus’ unique business model as an SME lending platform since they have been giving value to SMEs that are playing in the supply chains of the conglomerates and public companies in the region.
Hiroki Kawabata, Senior Manager at the Digital Innovation Division of NorinChukin Bank, said Validus has been in the forefront of providing full-fledged digital financing service to underserved SMEs in Southeast Asia, thus enabling better access to capital and financial solutions, and driving financial inclusion across the region.
For Genping Liu, a Partner at Vertex Ventures SEA and India, SMEs in Southeast Asia form the backbone of the economy, yet business owners constantly face critical issues such as a lack of access to credit and liquidity.
Liu said Validus has been leading the push for financial inclusion in the region by providing the much-needed financing relief to SMEs like collateral-free financing options and liquidity through access to a pool of investors.