Source: e27

Helicap raises US$1.5M seed funding round led by Singapore’s ex-minister of state Teo Ser Luck

Helicap is a Singapore-based fintech startup that offers alternative lending for SMEs in Southeast Asia and Australia

Singapore-based fintech startup Helicap today announced that it has raised US$1.5 million in seed funding round led by the country’s former Minister of State for Manpower Teo Ser Luck.

The former minister, who is currently sitting as chairman of fintech company Nufin Data, will also join Helicap’s board of directors.

The startup also named Heliconia Capital Chairman Lim How Teck, former Morgan Stanley Investment Management Asia CEO and CIO Samuel Rhee, and former GIC and ANZ senior manager Sam Phoen as investors and advisors.

Helicap offers a proprietary platform that raises capital and utilises big data to analyse potential investments for institutional investors, family offices, and high-networth individuals, allowing them to make “superior and consistent” investment returns via alternative channels such as microfinance institutions, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and peer-to-peer (P2P) crowdfunding platforms.

It is said to provide over 10 per cent income returns on diversified prime private debt assets.

The startup focusses on Southeast Asia and Australia, where 2.9 million SMEs are facing a credit gap of US$187.2 billion, according to data by various sources.

According to a Helicap spokesperson, Australia was chosen as it is a developed market with large market opportunity in alternative lending space, especially on secured loans. The Australian Dollar is also considered a good diversification for the company’s portfolio.

Helicap plans to use the funding to focus on business expansion with key hires and investments in technology, credit, and operations.

In addition to the funding announcement, Helicap also announced a partnership with Nufin Data to use latter’s cloud-based tech solutions to better mitigate invoice fraud and credit risk.

“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),” said Helicap co-founder David Z. Wang.

Over the past nine months, the company claimed that it has achieved 12 per cent returns on its investments with no defaults.