Helicap, a FinTech-driven firm specializing in alternative lending in APAC raises USD 10 million in its Series A equity round and redeemable preference share funding.
The firm says it will use the funds to expand its credit scoring technology and capture new private debt opportunities.
Leading the investment round is Saison Capital, the corporate venture capital arm of Japanese consumer finance firm Credit Saison. Credit Saison Asia Pacific Managing Director Kosuke Mori has also joined Helicap’s Board of Directors.
Other key participants in the round include existing investor East Ventures, as well as new investors Access Ventures, multi-family office Lamivoie and other High Net Worth Individuals.
This latest investment brings Helicap’s total funding for the group to almost USD 18 million. It says it will provide the Singapore-headquartered firm with a significant cash runway to advance its expansion plans, which include enhancing the company’s proprietary credit scoring technology and exploring further solutions and opportunities in the private debt space, especially in light of market dislocations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commenting on the round, Helicap CEO David Wang says they look forward to working with Saison Capital in the near future.
“We are very pleased to be adding Credit Saison to our cadre of investors and we will be announcing a number of strategic initiatives with Saison Capital in the coming months. The successful closing of our Series A round builds on an exceptional last 12 months for Helicap, in which we registered our fund management subsidiary as a Registered Fund Management Company with the Monetary Authority of Singapore and obtained a Capital Markets Services license for dealing in capital markets products through the acquisition of Arcor Capital. This latest equity investment, in addition to the success of our subsidiary RFMC in raising Assets Under Management amidst a very challenging COVID-19 environment testify to the trust that our investors have placed in our team and our business model. By bolstering our balance sheet, Helicap is well positioned to weather the current economic storm,” says Wang.
Saison Capital’s Managing Partner Kosuki Mori says it was founded with the aim of investing in founders who are building ecosystems that can distribute financial services to the underbanked, and that is what Helicap is facilitating with its FinTech engine.
“We are proud to be a long-term growth partner for Helicap, and we look forward to supporting the company’s expansion by providing its team with greater access to potential partnerships and strategic opportunities,” says Mori.
Recently, Helicap also announced the appointment of Dr. Ilham Akbar Habibie as Special Advisor to the company’s Board of Directors. Habibie is Chairman of Bank Muamalat – the first Indonesian Islamic (sharia-compliant) bank – and the Co-Founder of PT. ILTHABI Rekatama, a private investment company in Indonesia.
As an aviation enthusiast, Wang says Dr. Habibie is also engaged in the design, development, and manufacturing of aircrafts in Indonesia through a company he founded with his late father B.J. Habibie, the former President of Indonesia.
Wang says Habibie will be advising Helicap on the Indonesian market, one of the company’s largest identified geographical opportunities and a key focus area of the business.
Commenting on this new appointment, Habibie says he is a strong believer in the future of digital financial services.
“I am very keen to be partnering with and advising a FinTech-driven company like Helicap. As the Indonesian economy evolves and our labour force re-skills for the future, there will continue to be a large gap in the Indonesian credit market which is not addressed by traditional banks. As a result, there is a significant role for a rigorous data-driven firm like Helicap to play in the alternative lending space,” says Habibie.
(Ed. Helicap claims to be one of Asia’s fastest growing FinTech-driven firms specializing in the alternative lending space in Southeast Asia and Australia. Its stated goal is to help fill a USD 500 billion MSME credit gap by facilitating lending capital to over 300 million unbanked and underbanked people in the region.)