Significant Funds Through Collaboration Prepares Netbank and Investree to Serve SMEs
Manila, 17 December 2021 – Investree strengthened its commitment to support the development of SMEs across the Philippines by collaborating with Netbank, banking as a service platform in the Philippines which provides low-cost and high-quality banking services. Through the collaboration, Netbank allocated funds for Investree clients 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. In addition, Investree is awaiting SEC permit 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, expressed, “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.”
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the economic backbone of the Philippines. They contribute up to 99% of registered businesses in the country and provide about 60% of jobs across the country. The COVID-19 crisis has taken a huge toll on small companies in the Philippines, businesses had been affected by lower sales and difficulty accessing inputs to reduced logistics services and clients not paying bills. To help SMEs bounce back from this, Investree and Netbank are collaborating to expand the loans to this critical sector. Providing account opening services and investing in crowdfunding services will allow Investree clients to finance their trade receivables, giving SMEs vital cash to accelerate their growth. This partnership also allows Investree to accelerate its growth and ultimately serve the underserved SME market.
Furthermore, SME lending is very underserved in the Philippines. SME loans as a percentage of GDP is approximately 3%, compared to 37% in Thailand and other countries in the region. As a result, SMEs struggle to grow, slowing job creation and economic development. Through collaboration and digitalisation in unlocking the potential of SMEs would allow them to rapidly expand their impact. In addition, the collaboration between Investree and Netbank can also contribute to accelerating financial inclusion within the country.
Co-Founder & Head of Operations, Jaymar G. Mendoza, said, “Together with Investree, we hope to support the efforts in increasing financial inclusion within the country which is aligned with our aim which seals our partnership as well. We aim to combine both expertise and flexibility that banking and fintech has to offer to create more impact for the market. The partnership between a regulated bank and an alternative lender is very powerful wherein the Banks bring balance sheet management experience and processes and the alternative lenders bring a deep understanding of their clients.”
“With the support from Netbank, Investree Philippines will be harnessing the expertise and power of technology to give SMEs vital cash to accelerate their growth to increase financial inclusion and ultimately help the Philippines’ economy. Also, we would like to equally serve all the SMEs in the nation, therefore, inquiring about the permit to operate Visayas and Mindanao will allow us to do that. We would like to keep innovating and include more businesses in the Philippines,” Kok Chuan Lim added.
Credits to Diyaryo Milenyo