Investree‘s SME clients are set to benefit from additional funding as a direct result of the B2B lending marketplace’s recent collaboration with the Filipino BaaS platform Netbank.
Investree has reinforced its commitment to supporting the development of Filipino SMEs through its collaboration with Netbank; which operates in the Philippines.
Through the collaboration, Netbank will allocate funds for Investree clients to support the initiatives that will be carried out in 2022, further contributing to the economic growth of the Philippines. These additional funds will be utilised to create new jobs and expand business growth, which Investree will continue to connect SMEs to institutional investors.
Although it already serves the SMEs on the Filipino island of Luzon, reports state that Investree is awaiting an SEC permit to extend the reach of its operations to the regions of Visayas and Mindanao, which will take the service to nationwide status.
Co-Founder and CEO of Investree Philippines, Kok Chuan Lim, comments: “Investree Philippines is very excited to have onboarded Netbank as one of our first institutional investors in the Philippines. We have been working with the team at Netbank since we obtained our license earlier this year to jointly develop services that will improve ease of use for our SME issuers and reduce credit risks for our note investors. I am confident that our partnership will further enhance the adoption of crowdfunding as a viable working capital source for our SME clients.”
SMEs form the economic backbone of the Philippines, and account for 99 per cent of registered businesses whilst providing about 60 per cent of jobs across the country. The Covid-19 crisis has taken a huge toll on these vital small companies, and many businesses had been affected by lower sales and difficulty accessing inputs to reduced logistics services and clients not paying bills.
To help SMEs recover, Investree and Netbank are collaborating to expand the loans to this critical sector. Providing account opening services and investing in crowdfunding services will allow Investree clients to finance their trade receivables, giving SMEs cash to accelerate their growth. This partnership also allows Investree to accelerate its growth and ultimately serve the underserved SME market.
Furthermore, SME lending is very underserved in the Philippines. SME loans as a percentage of GDP is approximately 3 per cent, compared to 37 per cent in Thailand and other countries in the region.
As a result, SMEs struggle to grow, slowing job creation and economic development. Through collaboration and digitalisation in unlocking the potential of SMEs would allow them to rapidly expand their impact. In addition, the collaboration between Investree and Netbank can also contribute to accelerating financial inclusion within the country.
Netbank Co-Founder and Head of Operations, Jaymar G. Mendoza, comments: “Together with Investree, we hope to support the efforts in increasing financial inclusion within the country which is aligned with our aim which seals our partnership as well. We aim to combine both expertise and flexibility that banking and fintech has to offer to create more impact for the market. The partnership between a regulated bank and an alternative lender is very powerful wherein the Banks bring balance sheet management experience and processes and the alternative lenders bring a deep understanding of their clients.”
Kok Chuan Lim added: “With the support from Netbank, Investree Philippines will be harnessing the expertise and power of technology to give SMEs vital cash to accelerate their growth to increase financial inclusion and ultimately help the Philippines’ economy. Also, we would like to equally serve all the SMEs in the nation, therefore, inquiring about the permit to operate Visayas and Mindanao will allow us to do that. We would like to keep innovating and include more businesses in the Philippines.”