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Crowdfunding platform FundTier gets MAS licence; eyes SMEs and investors

LOCAL startup FundTier Pte Ltd is the latest crowdfunding platform to obtain a Capital Market Services (CMS) licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the company said in a media release on Thursday.

The firm aims to provide an alternative source of funding for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore, which may have difficulties meeting the banks' requirements for their financing needs.

With the CMS licence, FundTier will also be able to reach out to investors who typically deal with traditional banking products such as unit trusts and forex, but may not have access to SME loans even if they feel that SME business models are viable, FundTier's co-founder Max Ho told The Business Times.

Co-founder Shaun Lee added: "We are aware of the limitations SMEs may face when they try to get a bank loan. The purpose of FundTier is to address the funding gap for some of these underserved SMEs which have promising business growth plans, but could not get the necessary funding from conventional financiers."

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"At the same time, we have an existing pool of investors who are looking for unconventional investment tools. Many of them are drawn to funding SMEs due to its fast turnaround and reasonable rate of returns," Mr Lee said.

FundTier was founded by five former bankers from lenders including StanChart, UOB and DBS in August 2015. It previously operated under the name Ricco Capital, and recently rebranded to have its name better reflect the nature of its business, Mr Ho said.

FundTier is slated to launch on Jan 5, 2018.