Singapore’s Helicap Raises US$5M Led by East Ventures, Soilbuild Group

Singapore' government downgraded the 2020 economic growth forecast from contraction 0.4 percent to (7.0 percent), said the ministry of industry and trade on Tuesday (05/26) - Photo by Helicap

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Helicopter Capital (Helicap), a financial technology investments platform in South-east Asia & Oceania announced today that it raised US$5 million during its pre-Series A funding round led by East Ventures and Singapore’s leading integrated property group Soilbuild Group Holdings.

According to East Ventures statement received by TheInsiderStories on Thursday (13/09), the capital injection will be used by Helicap to grow its core team and expand its market reach to Indonesia. Through these investments, the company will make key hires to tech and data teams to enhance the firm’s data collection capacities.

The company will also build and enhance its alternative lending services by bolstering its platforms risk management protocols via improved credit due diligence, analysis and scoring of its originators’ loans.

First established in Singapore, Helicap’ data-powered alternative lending platform aims to fill the credit gaps faced by consumers and corporates who have been conventionally underserved by traditional financial institutions. Via accurate list of 300 licensed platform partners from traditional micro-finance institutions to digital lenders, the company helps facilitate lending capital to 400 million borrowers across Southeast Asia and Australia.

A pioneer in the regional alternative lending space, Helicap has access to credit data accumulated by hundreds of originators – allowing it a helicopter view of the industry and to generate superior insights in light of its capital allocation. In addition to financial returns, Helicap’ platform indirectly helps thousands of consumers and small businesses in Southeast Asia gain better access to funding.

This, in turn can help accelerate socio-economic growth, especially across the region’s emerging markets by providing quality debt funding in underserved segments.

“We decided to work with East Ventures for our Indonesian expansion, as they are one of the earliest and most established venture capital players there. Also, Soilbuild’ contribution is pivotal in diversifying our portfolio, particularly as they have deep expertise in the Real Estate Investment Trust listed company segment,” said David Z. Wang, co-founder and CEO of Helicap in a written statement.

The World Bank’s Global Financial Development Report showed that up to 73 percent of Southeast Asia’s 630 million population do not possess a bank account. This lack of funding by financial incumbents in meeting underbanked communities has led to plenty of untapped and attractive impact investment opportunities.

According to Willson Cuaca, Managing Partner of East Ventures, “Our company has been highly active in championing the growth of innovative start-ups across Southeast Asia – particularly those moving within the FinTech space. Helicap, one of the newest inventive FinTech firms in our portfolio, will play a significant role in validating and consolidating the region’s emerging alternative lending space, as they’re able to provide investors with expert informa(on and superior risk-adjusted returns.”

Meanwhile, the Soilbuild Group is pleased in partnering with Helicap to co-invest in alternative lending opportunities across the region. Lim Han Feng, Director of Soilbuild Group Holdings said, “We’re hugely impressed with how Helicap has progressed to attract many established investors, partners and advisors in such a short time.”

Since its deployment in second quarter (2Q) 2018, Helicap has grown its loan book by over 50 percent month-on-month. Through top ranked originators based in Singapore, Indonesia and Cambodia, the firm has also since deployed funding to over 100,000 end consumers and small businesses.

With capital raised through its latest funding round and a bigger pipeline, Helicap will be expanding to Philippines and Vietnam next. The company’s objective is to penetrate underserved yet lucrative markets across Southeast Asia by diversifying its loans portfolio across the region’s various geographies and market segments.

Given its double-digit returns, Helicap is also working with fund managers and family offices, and expects to raise more capital in the next 12 months, which will be directly deployed into more originators every month. The company expects its curated pipeline to grow towards US$$200 million by the end of 2018.