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Singapore's tryb, Insignia among co-leads as Philippines fintech First Circle raises US$26m

PHILIPPINES business-lending fintech startup First Circle has raised US$26 million of additional Series A funding from a group of investors that includes Singapore funds Insignia Ventures Partners and tryb Group.

Insignia was founded by former Sequoia partner Tan Yinglan. tryb, whose founders include former Singapore Exchange veteran Nels Friets, focuses on fintech startups. The other two lead investors in the round were Venturra Capital, which is backed by Indonesia's Lippo Group, and Hong Kong's Silverhorn Investment Advisors.

First Circle, whose platform targets small and medium enterprises (SMEs), will use the proceeds to expand in its home market of the Philippines. The startup is also looking to increase its capital base to more than US$100 million in 2019 to keep up with demand from SMEs for financing in the region, the company said in a press release on Friday.

First Circle had previously raised US$2.5 million through two rounds of funding, according to previous reports. Investors in previous rounds included Accion, Key Capital, Deep Blue Ventures, 500 Startups and Spiral Ventures.