1. Startups

Investree Thailand Gets Regulatory Permission, Maximizing MSME Growth Momentum in Southeast Asia

License granted as of February 23, 2021, intensify collaboration with local companies

Startups p2p loans investree announced the inauguration of its expansion to Thailand after successfully obtaining a license from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand (SEC) as of February 23, 2021. Investree Thailand will focus on serving more SMEs that cannot be accessed by conventional institutional financing (underserved) by connecting them with investors through the platform marketplace.

Investree Thailand Co-Founder Worakorn Sirijinda said, “We are very grateful for the approval and support from the SEC. This is the first step for Investree to provide innovative financing solutions and services for Thai SMEs that we hope can contribute to the country's economic recovery in today's challenging situation.”

In Thailand and the Philippines, regulation is a bigger challenge due to the distance and limited knowledge and relationships with regulators there. Plus the presence of a pandemic that slows down movement around the world, the licensing process through crowdfunding was delayed for some time.

In addition, the different situations and cultures in each country is also a challenge in itself to introduce new ideas through crowdfunding to society. Therefore, to accelerate knowledge about the market and ecosystem there, Investree focuses on collaborating with local partners.

Several well-known companies that have collaborated such as Pantavanij, platforms e-procurement and B2B marketplace Thailand's leading, 2C2P provider payment gateway, and the provider's FlowAccount billing and accounting solutions online for small businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers.

Through this collaboration, Investree Thailand created several innovations. Together with Pantavanij, Investree provides supply chain financing to sellers and suppliers registered in the system e-procurement. Together with 2C2P, Investree utilizes technology and data to provide working capital financing facilities (working capital financing) for para merchant 2C2P. Still in line, Investree also collaborates with FlowAccount to provide financing solutions for MSMEs on its platform.

Investree Thailand presents 2 (two) products, namely Bullet Payment Security and Installment Payment Security which have similarities with Invoice Financing and Working Capital Term Loan (WCTL) offered in Indonesia and the Philippines. For these two financing products, Investree offers various benefits for SMEs: model-based interest rates credit scoring modern, fast funding, and transparent terms and fees.

"In our opinion, this partnership is very helpful for Investree in channeling loans more precisely on target with measurable risks so that it can maintain the stability of Investree's lending and borrowing business while exploring more collaboration opportunities with actors in other ecosystems," said Adrian.

MSME Market in Southeast Asia

Based on a study by the Asian Development Bank entitled "Asia Small and Medium Sized Enterprise Monitor 2020", MSMEs accounted for an average of 97% of all types/scales of companies, 69% of the total workforce, and 41% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) during 2010-2019. The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 exacerbated the already increasing global trade tensions and economic uncertainty in the region. In many ways, MSMEs hold the key to economic recovery in developing Asia.

Indonesia is a country in Southeast Asia that has the largest number of MSMEs in the region with 64 million, followed by Thailand with 3,5 million and the Philippines with 1,2 million MSME units.

MSMEs are a major and important force to drive the Southeast Asian economy. The number is 97 percent of the business world and absorbs 97 percent of the national workforce in the period 2010 to 2019. MSMEs also contribute an average of 41 percent of GDP for each country in the same period.

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However, there are still many business actors who do not have access to financing. Many of them are considered ineligible to borrow from banks and have no credit history.

Fintech can make it easier for MSMEs to optimize the effectiveness and efficiency of business operations, as well as make it easier for MSMEs that do not have sufficient requirements to access banking financing, in accessing working capital financing. Some players who also offer similar solutions include KoinWorksmy capital, and Amartha.

Previously, in 2019, Investree was present in Vietnam under the name eLoan, after that it continued expansion to the Philippines by cooperating with the conglomerate Filinvest Development Corporation (FDC) earlier this year. To date, Investree has successfully obtained licenses to operate in 4 countries including Indonesia.

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