ALTERNATIVE lender Helicap has raised US$10 million in a Series A funding round led by Saison Capital, the corporate venture arm of Japanese consumer finance firm Credit Saison, the startup announced on Tuesday.
The fundraise, which comprised equity and redeemable preference share financing, was joined by existing investor East Ventures, as well as new investors Access Ventures, multi-family office Lamivoie and high net worth individuals.
This brings Helicap's total fundraise to US$18 million to date. The startup had previously raised funds from investors, including property and construction firm Soilbuild Group and former minister of state Teo Ser Luck.
Helicap plans to use the fresh capital to enhance its proprietary credit-scoring technology and explore further opportunities in the private debt space, "especially in light of market dislocations brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic", the company said in its press release.
The Series A raise "amid a very challenging Covid-19 environment testifies to the trust that our investors have placed in our team and our business model", said Helicap's chief executive David Wang. "By bolstering our balance sheet, Helicap is well positioned to weather the current economic storm."
Saison Capital's managing partner Kosuki Mori said that he looks forward to providing Helicap with greater access to potential partnerships and strategic opportunities. Mr Mori will be joining Helicap's board of directors.
"Saison Capital was founded with the aim of investing in founders who are building ecosystems that can distribute financial services to the underbanked, and that is exactly what Helicap is facilitating with its unique fintech engine," he added.
In the past year, Helicap's fund management unit became licensed with the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The startup also obtained a capital markets services licence, which enables it to deal in capital markets products, by acquiring securities firm Arcor Capital.
Helicap recently appointed Ilham Akbar Habibie, chairman of Indonesia's Bank Muamalat, as a special adviser to its board on the Indonesian market.