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Validus and Citi establish USD 100 million facility to drive SME financing 

Validus and Citi establish USD 100 million facility to drive SME financing 

Validus and Citibank N.A. (Citi) has announced the establishment of a USD 100 million securitisation facility, collateralised by SME loans originated by Validus in Singapore. 

This collaboration between a large global bank and a fintech is the first-of-its-kind in Southeast Asia in terms of deal and structure and was launched in early Q2 this year. The facility is also supported by First Plus Asset Management Pte. Ltd. (“First Plus”), a Singapore-based multi-asset investment manager focused on Asia structured credit and equities. 

Since the facility was established in the second quarter, Validus doubled its borrower base in Singapore and grew its loan book by 60% across the Group over the same time period. This tracks similarly stellar growth across Validus Group, which has grown its monthly volumes by over 8x and tripled its loan book over the last 24 months.

Milena Naitoh, Head of Corporate Development at Validus, said, “This collaboration with Citi underscores the quality of our origination, credit portfolio management, strength and resilience of our business, in today’s market environment. With this evolution in our financing strategy, as well as the support of Citi as an established player in the asset-backed securities space, we are now even better positioned to support the growth of SMEs with accessible and effortless business finance.” 

Milena added, “As Validus continues to extend its position as a leading all-in-one SME finance platform in Southeast Asia, this securitised lending structure, together with a diversified financing and product strategy, will enable us to grow at a much greater scale. We are honoured that Citi has chosen to collaborate with us on this landmark securitised lending transactionwith a fintech start-up in Southeast Asia, and we are looking at replicating this transaction playbook across other markets.” 

Lei Tie, Co-founder and Head of Structured Credit at First Plus, said, “We are thrilled to be part of the transaction, which has established a gold standard for non-recourse asset based financing for Southeast Asia, and to be able to support Validus on their next phase of growth.” 

Validus is currently raising its Series C equity round for an undisclosed amount. The combination of the securitisation  facility and Series C equity funding will further drive Validus’ expansion plans as it starts to introduce neo-banking products in other Southeast Asia markets. 

Validus’ proprietary algorithmic credit models and uniquely aggregated alternative underwriting data has driven reliable historical performance in origination, underwriting and collections. Since its launch in 2015, Validus has disbursed over US$1.6 billion across more than 65,000 loans to small businesses in Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand. 

The company is backed by highly reputed VCs including FMO, Vertex Growth, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, AddVentures by SCG, K3 Ventures, Openspace Ventures and VinaCapital Ventures.

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