This month in August 2021, five years after issuing their very first loan to an SME borrower in Singapore, the Validus team reports reaching a notable milestone of cumulatively having financed over SGD 1 billion in SME loans via the Validus marketplace.
As they look back at the “glow of the 30,000 smiles” they’ve put on the faces of SME owners (and the “countless” others that have benefited, including their workers, families, vendors, and clients), they can’t help “reminisce about how our journey started.”
The company recalls that they started their business in order to “empower SMEs through financial inclusion.”
As noted in a blog post by Validus:
“While we knew the journey would be arduous, we were unprepared for the emotional upheavals that befell our way, often experiencing exhilaration and devastation and all in a single day. We battled various adversities that startup founders often face – blue screens, NPLs, resignations, investor volte-face, and despondency. But, in times of despair, we often turned to books of faith, and Gandalf never failed to show us the way.”
They added that their quest, “though not yet quite epic, has been quite an adventure.” And “what we treasure the most is the fellowship that has banded on this journey – our 200-strong #OneValidus team across our four operating countries,” the company noted.
They also mentioned:
“Together we have Innovated – new business models built around supply chain data, an asset class for sophisticated, accredited investors, and underwriting models that have probably never seen execution at scale.”
Validus’ management further noted that they’ve been pioneers – first in ASEAN to introduce an insured marketplace SME loan product, launch a co-managed fund model, and the “first” Fintech onboarded as a PFI under ESG’s Enterprise Financing Scheme.
They’ve also adapted – to “resiliently battle the challenges that Covid-19 has thrown at us, grow 3x during this pandemic period, and open a new market in Thailand by establishing an enterprising team entirely remotely.”
The company further revealed that when doors were shut on them on financing support by financial institutions, they have “found allies in overseas fund managers who have opened their windows to us.”
Validus confirmed that they’re focused on growing and innovating, and “when it seems like everything is working like clockwork, we will break it down and build it again because we know we can still do it better.”
They further noted that their first SGD 1B milestone took around 5 years, however, achieving the next SGD 1B could take less time.
They company added:
“We have championed the supply chain-led SME financing model, and now we will showcase end-to-end digital lending with fast approvals purely based on alternate data. Finally, we will grow from being the SMEs preferred lending partner to become their CFO managing their finances, planning for their cashflow needs, and enabling their transactions, all as we empower their future.”
They also mentioned:
“There is no Frodo without a Sam. We are filled with gratitude to our corporate anchors, investors, and SME partners as we continue our mission. Most importantly, our fellow team members – ‘Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.’ Each one of us stands testimony to that fact.”