Lend East raising US$50M debt capital to connect institutional investors with alternative lenders in India, SEA
Lend East, a Singapore-based digital lending platform focused on alternative lenders, announced today it is raising US$50 million in debt capital from a network of unnamed family offices and credit funds in the US, Singapore and India.
The startup has already “received its first cheque” and looks to close the round by Q3 2020. It plans to use the funds for onward lending to borrowing platforms, it said in a press note.
Launched in October 2018, Lend East connects global institutional investors to alternative lending platforms in Southeast Asia and India. In other words, the platform provides accredited Institutional and high net-worth individual (HNI) investors access to alternative lenders in emerging Asia.
Large segments of the population in emerging Asia lack access to easy and timely credit facilities. Fintech firms addressing this under-served market often lack adequate capital, limiting their scale. On the other hand, global institutional investors struggle to access this emerging asset class owing to the fragmented nature of the industry and high cost of underwriting. Lend East attempts to address this problem.
The fintech startup claims it has made its first two loans in leading consumer lending platforms in Indonesia and the Philippines. Lend East is now actively looking at investment opportunities in India, Vietnam and Myanmar.
Lend East will look to partner with alternative lenders in the region such as Akulaku, Oriente, Incred Finance, and KrazyBee.
Early this year, the fintech startup raised seed funding from strategic investors to build its technology platform. It now plans to expand the platform by designing advanced analytics, portfolio credit scoring systems and credit risk monitoring mechanisms.
Founder and CEO Karan Bhatia said: “Alternative lenders in Emerging Asia have been supported by strong deep-pocketed VC and Institutional investors. Despite the sizeable books and good loan performance, they remain hugely under-levered. Equity becomes an expensive source of capital to grow loan books, hence provision of the right debt facilities will prove crucial to the growth and success of such ventures.”
“On the other hand, global investors who have exposure to this asset class in mature markets like the US, the UK and Europe are keen to build an Asia portfolio but have limited regional experience. This is the gap that Lend East aims to bridge,” he added.