Fintech startup Helicap raises $1.5m seed round led by former SG minister

Fintech startup Helicap has announced the closing of a seed funding round of $1.5 million led by Singapore’s former Minister of State and the Chairman of Nufin Data, Teo Ser Luck.

In an official statement, Helicap said Teo Ser Luck will also join the company’s board of directors following the investment.

Other investors and advisers to Helicap include Heliconia Capital chairman Lim How Teck, former Morgan Stanley Investment Management Asia CEO and CIO Samuel Rhee and GIC and ANZ Senior Management Sam Phoen.

Singapore-based Helicap offers a proprietary platform that raises capital and utilizes big data to analyse regional players, thereby allowing them to make superior and consistent investment returns via alternative channels such as microfinance institutions, SMEs, and peer-to-peer (P2P) crowdfunding platforms.

According to Helicap co-founder David Z Wang, the new partnership will help position his firm as an early mover within Asia’s fast growing alternative lending space.

“As we are a Capital-as-a-Service company, our business requires a deep focus and strong partnerships with crowdfunding platforms to enhance investor returns, as well as to provide accessible and scalable lending capital for our origination partners such as Nufin Data and customers such as Funding Societies (also known as Modalku in Indonesia),” Wang said.

“We are therefore delighted to have Mr Teo and Nufin on board for our journey to be amongst the region’s first and largest alternative lending aggregators. Over the past 9 months, Helicap has achieved 12% returns on our investments, with no defaults.”

Along with the news of its latest funding, Helicap also announced a partnership with Singaporean data company Nufin Data, which is a subsidiary of multi-million fintech conglomerate, Jing King Tech.

The cooperation will see Helicap use Nufin’s cloud-based tech solutions to better mitigate invoice fraud and credit risk. With more in-depth insights and data aggregation through Nufin’s platform, Helicap can simultaneously lower the capital costs for borrowers, minimize financing risks for lenders and expand alternative lending activities for platforms in Singapore, Southeast Asia and the world over.

Teo Ser Luck explained that Nufin’s collaboration with Helicap will help his company attain its goal to provide more enterprises with fast and secure access to competitive supply chain financing options.

Starting its operation in 2017, Helicap has rolled out its services in Southeast Asia and Australia, which boasts a combined total of over 2.9 billion SMEs that are currently facing a credit gap of US$ 187.2 billion, according to a McKinsey report. Over the past year, it has started investing and is now screening around US$200 million worth of qualified loans for business owners and individuals in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Indonesia and Cambodia within its pipeline, which will be distributed in the coming months.