2022: Funding Societies Malaysia’s Year In Review

Looking back on our journey, 2022 was a rip-roaring year filled with excitement and milestones for Funding Societies Malaysia. Cementing our foothold as the largest SME Digital Financing platform in Southeast Asia, we are revving up high from the pandemic and we are grateful for how this year has turned out to be one of our best years yet. As 2022 draws to a close, we highlight some key achievements made this year as we continue to empower our SME and investor communities. 💡

We first kick-started the year with a milestone achievement of surpassing RM1 billion in financing disbursement, reflecting the thousands of SMEs we had the opportunity to serve in Malaysia thus far. Later in February, we announced a historic RM1.23b (US$294m) Series C+ fundraising, which was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, a Japanese venture capital fund to finance our expansion strategy. That’s not all, we even made an appearance on the Nasdaq Tower billboard, right in the heart of Times Square, New York! 🎉

Our Series C+ fundraiser announcement on the Nasdaq Tower billboard in New York

Steadfast in our mission to empower Southeast Asian SMEs, we have spread our wings and stepped into our fifth market – Vietnam. With an ever-thriving SME landscape that accounts for more than 40 percent of the country’s GDP, we are excited about what the future holds for this land of the ‘Ascending Dragon’ nation. 

Co-founder and Group Chief Executive Officer, Kelvin Teo and Funding Societies Vietnam team

Our story for 2022 was more than just investment, profitability, resilience, and market share. This was the year that we took our first and very important step towards offering a unified financial experience for SMEs across the region. In June, we celebrated our acquisition of CardUp, a regional payments solution. This acquisition enables us to acquire CardUp’s payment capabilities including card payments to non-card accepting recipients, online payments acceptance, and invoice automation tools – subsequently leapfrogging and accelerating our market leadership in the regional fintech space. 🌟

Kelvin Teo, our Co-founder and Group CEO with Nicki Ramsay, Founder and CEO of CardUp

With SMEs remaining our focal point of business, 2022 also saw us doubling down on strategic partnerships. Aligned with our mission, we partnered with a dedicated tech financier, the Malaysia Debt Ventures (MDV) earlier this year to provide financial assistance for high-potential startups and MSMEs. This partnership aims to serve the underserved businesses, particularly those closely associated with the Malaysian Science, Technology, Innovation, and Economy (MySTIE) Framework developed by the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI), as well as to assist the industry in regaining momentum and managing the post-pandemic recovery phase. Further, we teamed up with Pantas, a local fintech startup offering free e-invoicing software for businesses to launch a pre-approved automated invoice financing for SMEs. 🤝

This year was definitely the year of partnerships for Funding Societies Malaysia. Apart from industry partners within the FinTech ecosystem, we also forged notable regional partnerships with banks, including a co-investment into Bank Index, Indonesia’s private commercial bank, as well as a RM223 million (US$50 million) credit facility signing with global bank HSBC, both which would better equip us in offering more high-impact digital financial services to underserved businesses in the region. Towards the last quarter of 2022, we inked a momentous partnership with national car maker PROTON, to provide credit facilities for car dealers to finance the purchase of cars for floor stocking, further helping SMEs in managing their business cash flow. 

We are also pleased to welcome a new face to our leadership team, with the appointment of Chai Kien Poon, as our new Country Head of Funding Societies Malaysia. Embarking on his new adventure with us, KP now leads our Malaysia business whilst continuing to drive strategic partnerships and initiatives. As part of the leadership transition, Wong Kah Meng, who is our Malaysia Co-founder is stepping up and now assuming the role of Group Chief Operating Officer of Funding Societies | Modalku where he is responsible for overseeing the Group’s business across Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand; as well as key strategic priorities regionally. 🎯

Chai Kien Poon, our new Country Head of Funding Societies Malaysia

In 2022, Funding Societies Malaysia has continued to enhance our product offerings for SMEs and investors. On the SME side, we launched our Shariah-compliant trade financing solution based on the Commodity Murabahah (Tawarruq), marking our foray into the Islamic Fintech space. The product complements our existing broad range of financing products to better serve creditworthy SMEs of all segments, vintages, and sizes, including those operating in the Halal industry. We have also taken efforts to refine our existing products through extensive market research and following this, we have enhanced our micro-financing products where SMEs can boost their capital up to RM200,000 with a seamless submission process, fast disbursement, and no collateral requirement.

Similarly, on the investors’ front, we have crowdfunded 5 times more Guaranteed Investment Notes (GIN) on the platform in 2022 vs. 2021 as part of our efforts to offer various lower-risk investment products to help investors earn more consistent returns. With the continued volatility of the global economy and potential spillover to local markets, the growth of GIN is timely in meeting the needs of varying investors’ investment objectives and risk appetite across business cycles. Despite the cautious investment outlook, our default rate has remained stable at 2%, balancing the needs of both SMEs and investors! Additionally, we are excited to have onboarded more than 60,000 investors since we launched.

2022 brought many challenges and opportunities to Team Funding Societies Malaysia as well as our broader society, testing our adaptability and challenging us to invent the future. Nonetheless, we have come out stronger on the other end with all these milestones under our belt. As the calendar year draws to a close, we would like to thank everyone for your unwavering support, confidence, and commitment to walking with us every step of the way through this eventful year. 🏆

Thank you for an exciting 2022. We’re looking forward to a bigger 2023!