Investree reveals that it has strengthened its commitment to support the development of SMEs across the Philippines by working cooperatively with Netbank, a banking as a service platform in the Southeast Asian country that offers “low-cost and high-quality banking services.”
Via the collaboration, Netbank allocated funds for Investree customers in order to support the initiatives that will be “carried out in 2022 to contribute towards the Philippines’ economic growth, provision of new jobs, and paving the way for scaling up businesses.”
As mentioned in an update shared with CI, Investree is currently awaiting approval from the Philippines’ SEC to operate in Visayas and Mindanao which will “allow the service to reach nationwide after being able to serve SMEs in Luzon Area providing convenient access to funds and marketplace platforms connecting SMEs and institutional investors.”
Co-Founder & CEO of Investree Philippines, Kok Chuan Lim, stated:
“Investree Philippines is very excited to have onboarded Netbank as one of our first institutional investors in the Philippines. We have been working with the team at Netbank since we obtained our license earlier this year to jointly develop services that will improve ease of use for our SME issuers and reduce credit risks for our note investors. I am confident that our partnership will further enhance the adoption of crowdfunding as a viable working capital source for our SME clients.”
SMEs are the “economic backbone” of the Philippines.
They contribute as much as 99% of registered businesses in the Asian nation and offer around 60% of jobs across the Philippines.
The COVID-19 outbreak has taken a major toll on small firms in the country, as businesses had been impacted by considerably lower sales and faced challenges while accessing inputs to reduced logistics services and customers not paying bills.
In order to assist SMEs with bouncing back from this setback, Investree and Netbank are focused on expanding the loans to this vital industry segment.
Offering account opening services and investing in crowdfunding services should allow Investree customers to finance trade receivables, providing SMEs much-needed cash to support their growth. This collaboration also enables Investree to further its growth efforts while catering to the underserved SMEs.
As mentioned in a release, SME lending is really underserved in the Philippines. SME loans as a percentage of GDP is only around 3% (a lot less when compared to 37% in Thailand and other nations in the region).
As a result, SMEs are really struggling to grow, slowing down job creation and economic development. Via this strategic collaboration and digitalization, Investree and Netbank aim to unlock the potential of SMEs so they can expand their overall impact.
The ongoing collaboration between Investree and Netbank may also enabled greater financial inclusion in the country.