Modalku Bags Over 2 Trillion Rupiah in Series C+ Round, Entering the Neobank Market

Backed by an equity debt worth of $150 million from financial institutions in Europe, the United States, and Asia

Modalku Group announced a series C+ funding round of $144 million (around 2.06 trillion Rupiah) led by Softbank Vision Fund 2, with participation from VNG Corporation, Rapyd Ventures, EDBI, Indies Capital, Ascend Vietnam Ventures, and previous investors, including Sequoia Capital India and BRI Ventures.

Moreover, the company also confirmed a new loan facility of $150 million (around2.15 trillion) from financial institutions in Europe, the United States, and Asia. This round follows the previous series C funding worth of $45 million earned between 2020 and 2021. In total, the company has secured $189 million (approximately IDR 2.7 trillion).

The funding will strengthen the company's position in leading regional digital funding. The fresh money will be channeled to manage expenses and improve B2B Payments services for MSMEs in Southeast Asia in order to become a neobank. KoinWorks has taken the same strategy for its next focus.

The management also mentioned that $16 million (approximately 229 billion Rupiah) of this funds will be used to contribute to the company's stock options plan in the form of share repurchases, for former and current employees.

In an official statement, Funding Societies' Co-founder, Reynold Wijaya said, "[..] After successfully proving our credit capability during an unprecedented financial crisis, Modalku will expand its business to neobank market. We are committed to better support MSMEs, strengthen our presence in Southeast Asia, and bring a greater positive impact to society.”

SoftBank Investment Advisers' Managing Partner, Greg Moon added, "Southeast Asia's MSMEs have historically struggled to get access to loans from financial institutions, but they have been forced to rely on private funding to support their business growth. Modalku exists and bridges these entrepreneurs to access more funding that can fulfill their needs.

“Moreover, it is more affordable to build a data system that valued a business based on its performance and implements Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based technology to make the process more effective. We are pleased to be able to support their mission to contribute to Southeast Asia by funding viable but underserved MSMEs," Moon said.

Focus on the MSME industry

The  Modalku Group, founded in 2015, seeks to solve MSMEs' main paint points that hinder its growth, including the financial gap of $300 billion (approximately IDR 4.6 quadrillion) in the Southeast Asia region. With almost 99% considered small businesses in Southeast Asia, in fact MSME players have discovered many obstacles in accessing business loans from conventional financial institutions due to the lack of a credit track record or collateral.

Modalku is to offer loans of up to IDR 2 billion which can be disbursed within 24 hours as a solution for MSMEs in facing challenges related to capital access. Currently, the company is positioning itself as a one-stop shop in MSME's funfing for it is no longer uses the traditional supply chain approach to achieve financial inclusion, but uses an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based credit model and the added value of its products to reach underserved businesses.

A recent study by Asian Development Bank revealed that MSMEs backed by the Modalku Group has contributed USD 3.6 billion (approximately Rp 51.6 trillion) to Southeast Asia's GDP.

After seven years, the Modalku Group has acquired licenses in four ASEAN countries, including Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and is available in Vietnam. To date, the company has disbursed more than Rp29.4 trillion in business funding to more than 4.9 million MSME loan transactions in Southeast Asia.

Since 2019, the Modalku Group has expanded its financial services beyond lending and plans to expand to more locations in Southeast Asia in the next 12 months.

Virtual Credit

Regarding plans to enter neobank, the company has launched “Virtual Credit”, a paylater facility to support business needs for MSMEs in the form of  certain credit limit that can be used for digital transaction on online/offline platforms or suppliers. With a fast approval process, limits can be used to increase stock of goods, develop businesses, as well as urgent needs of entrepreneurs.

This Virtual Credit can be used by private MSMEs and business entities (PT/CV) to manage and control business cash flow with easy access. The limit given will be adjusted to the business scale. The private MSME can get a credit limit of up to Rp100 million, while for MSMEs with business entities can get up to Rp500 million. MSMEs can apply for this facility without collateral.

Currently, Modalku has collaborated with more than 100 online and offline suppliers to assist MSMEs in fulfilling business needs. Several online platforms  have collaborated, including JD.ID, Bizzy, Blibli, Jubelio, and will continue to grow as services develop.

"With the paylater facility for this business, we aim to give MSMEs the flexibility to get a longer maturity and help MSMEs control cash flow better because income or receivables often fluctuate from time to time, especially during times of crisis. The pandemic is still protracted and uncertain," Modalku's Head of Growth and Partnership, Arthur Adisusanto said.

Cash flow alone is the lifeblood of every business lines. The ability to be able to manage income and expenses is essential in developing any business. When cash inflows are slower than outflows (negative cash flow), running and growing a business becomes more difficult.

Original article is in Indonesian, translated by Kristin Siagian

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