Senturia Capital partners Funding Societies to expand financing access

KUALA LUMPUR: Private equity (PE) fund manager Senturia Capital has partnered up with Funding Societies, a regional peer-to-peer (P2P) financing platform to expand alternative financing access and capital solutions to Malaysian businesses.

In a joint statement, Funding Societies said the banking sector continued to be the predominant provider of financing. However, according to estimates cited by the  Securities Commission (SC), the Malaysian SME sector has a financing gap of more than RM80bil. 

It added that market-based financing, including equity crowdfunding (ECF) and P2P financing, may provide alternative solutions to address the financing needs of Malaysian SMEs.

Senturia Capital managing director Datuk Marco Yap said its partnership with Funding Societies was a quality and strategic solution in recognising the need of alternative funding to businesses who deserve it, while enabling Senturia to offer a hybrid solution for business financing through a combination of equity and debt financing structures. 

He said alternative channels for business financing, from private equity, venture capital, equity crowdfunding, debt crowdfunding, and especially P2P financing, can be better choices for various businesses.

“Given the rise of alternative channels for business financing driven by the SC, and considering recent challenges in our macroeconomic environment where businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to get access to financing from traditional avenues, this partnership is more relevant than ever,” Yap said. 

Senturia Capital has recently announced a RM300mil strategic capital fund to provide flexible and medium-term alternative capital to businesses across a wide range of sectors, with investment opportunities targeting Malaysia, Singapore, China and Australia.

Meanwhile, Funding Societies Malaysia CEO Wong Kah Meng said: “Funding Societies is primarily focused on providing smaller financing amounts with shorter tenors to SMEs. With this partnership, we will be able to serve a greater variety of businesses, especially those that require larger and more complex financing structures, while at the same time protecting the platform’s investors.” 

“On a larger scale, the partnership will also drive greater awareness amongst businesses and the retail public on legitimate alternative financing and investment options in the Malaysian market,” he said. 

Wong added that the partnership would also enable the retail public to invest and diversify across a greater variety of SMEs, thereby earning better risk-adjusted returns compared to traditional investment asset classes such as fixed deposits and mutual funds. 

“Through our platform, investors are able to invest in creditworthy SMEs from as low as RM100,” he said. 

Funding Societies is the first and largest P2P financing platform in Malaysia. It has operations in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia – it has disbursed around RM190mil into more than 850 deals across Southeast Asia.

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