MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Investree Philippines, the country’s first SEC licensed crowdfunding company, hosted a 2-series event entitled MSME Forum: The Future of Bank Financing held last July 30, 2021, and MSME Day: Negosyo Bounce Back held last July 2, 2021. The free virtual event series aimed to empower MSMEs by gathering the country’s government, business, and finance leaders and help the highly underserved sector transform their businesses toward recovery, amidst the challenges presented by the pandemic.
Investree Philippines remains strong in its commitment to provide a financial lifeline to MSMEs. “Digital transformation has to form a core part of recovery and future growth. We believe that every business deserves a chance to grow, and we try our best to make sure that they have the right opportunities that would allow them to do so. We know how difficult it has become to run a business during these trying times. Investree Philippines is here so that they can focus on running day to day business operations, engaging with their customers, and managing their people,” said Xavier Marzan, Director and Board Member of Investree Philippines.
Government Initiatives in Making Financing More Accessible for MSMEs
Governor Benjamin Diokno of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), opened both series with a keynote on the various initiatives the BSP is aggressively pursuing to provide lasting benefits to MSMEs but also expressed how quickly this can be done through the adoption of new financing models. Other government leaders also provided their support by providing an overview of Government initiatives. Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles, Office of the Cabinet Secretary, Commissioner Ephyro Luis Amatong of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Banks and Financing Institutions Can Now Target a Highly Underserved MSME Segment
Kok Chuan Lim, Co-Founder and CEO of Investree Philippines, presented opportunities for innovation on the side of financial institutions “If you are looking to lend out to SMEs but face problems on where and how to do it, and want to avoid restrictive, prohibitively capital-intensive ways to do so. Rather than hiring people, setting up a new branch, perhaps one simple way is to work with us, the Philippines first crowdfunding platform by buying our notes.”
“They are extremely short dated in nature; they pay a handsome return between 1% – 3% per month. This gives banks a cost-effective way to participate in the MSME financing in the Philippines. With this, I think we can all grow together,” said Lim.
The SEC Commissioner Ephyro Amatong shared insights about the programs and plans for regulating crowdfunding in the Philippines.
#EveryoneCanGrow: A Time for MSMEs to Shine
With the “Everyone can grow” mindset, Kok Chuan Lim, Co-Founder and CEO of Investree Philippines, believes that innovation is key in achieving greater financial inclusion in the Philippines. MSMEs can improve their cash flows by letting Investree source financing for their company expenses in as fast as 7 days. This takes out most of the pain points business owners face, especially with traditional lenders.
“We analyze and verify the supply data into a report as a third party. And this data is presented in the information fact sheet that is presented to our current set of funders, banks, and financial institutions. This will allow our issuers (SMEs) to get access to uncollateralized working capital finance. And in turn, this will allow our SMEs to generate more sales and increase the fulfilment of orders to their clients. This is what we’re trying to achieve. Hopefully, this will allow us to bridge and provide a win-win solution to buyers themselves,” Lim mentioned.
Adrian Gunadi, Co-Founder of Investree, discussed technological advancements in Southeast Asia that will help MSMEs recover from financial losses. “What we bring to the table is some of the on-ground experiences on how we are helping the SMEs in Indonesia, how we are helping them and assisting them to provide working capital solutions.”
“The challenge of a traditional SME lending is that you’re using or relying at the books of the SME which is a laggard data. This is where we see technology and machine learning playing a critical role in the ability to credit process multiple data on a real time basis,” said Gunadi.
Another event highlight is Success Option Inc President Mr. Francis Kong’s insightful discussion on overall business strategies businesses can make use of to bounce back from the pandemic. As an entrepreneur himself, Mr. Kong pinned on the importance of taking advantage of the crisis and transforming it into an opportunity.
Investree Philippines is a Fintech-based joint venture company between the Gotianun-led Filinvest Development Corp. (FDC) and Investree Singapore. It received approval from the Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to operate the first licensed crowdfunding platform for SME Financing in the country.