Helicap, a Singapore-based FinTech platform, said Wednesday it has raised $5 million in a strategic funding round from two global asset management powerhouses.
The round was led by Temasek-backed international alternative asset management group Tikehau Capital, and integrated Asian financial house PhillipCapital, each with over $35 billion in Assets Under Management (AUM), Helicap said in a statement.
The new capital will enable Helicap as a group to achieve its goal of democratising access to private markets and becoming the dominant digital private investment platform in Southeast Asia.
Meanwhile, Jean-Baptiste Feat, Global Co-Chief Investment Officer of Tikehau Capital and Grace Tang, Executive Director at Phillip Private Equity, will join Helicap’s advisory team, lending their expertise and network to Helicap’s founders and the broader team.
Helicap group Chief Executive Officer David Z Wang described the new fundraise as a key milestone for his management team and a vote of confidence from institutional asset managers.
“At Helicap, our vision has always been to provide liquidity to alternative lenders with the mission of enabling financial access for millions of underbanked MSMEs. Over the coming months, we will be expanding our suite of data-driven products and services to establish Helicap as the go-to private financing arranger in Southeast Asia (SEA). We will continue to democratise access to private investments through a data-driven FinTech investment platform that prioritises risk management,” he said.
Helicap is a Singapore-based FinTech firm connecting global investors to private investment opportunities in Southeast Asia. The company’s goal is to fill a $500 billion financing gap that banks are unable to serve and deploy capital to 300 million underbanked through 1,000 originators in the region.
The firm provides curated access into the private placements space in SEA while financially enabling underbanked individuals and enterprises across the region. Its flagship private debt fund recently raised $10 million from a regional bank-backed asset management firm, making it the fund’s largest single investor. The asset manager, which has approximately $20 billion in asset under management (AUM), is looking at doubling its commitment to Helicap’s fund product.
“We recognise that risk management is of the utmost importance with every investment we make. With our tried and tested technology, we can make swift yet informed decisions on where to deploy our investments and the terms of these placements,” said Quentin Vanoekel, Chief Investment Officer of Helicap Investments and Co-Founder at Helicap.
“Against the backdrop of challenging global market conditions, the investment from Tikehau Capital and PhillipCapital is a testimony to Helicap’s institutional-grade execution capabilities and a mandate to capture the growth prospects of private investment opportunities in the region,” he added.
Helicap’s equity backers include Japanese financial services firm Credit Saison, Temasek-backed alternative investments firm Tikehau Capital, integrated Asian financial house PhillipCapital, as well as top VC firms East Ventures, Access Ventures, Voveo Capital, and leading Singapore property group Soilbuild Group Holdings.
“As alternative asset management and private credit investment specialists ourselves, we firmly believe in Helicap’s compelling value proposition. Helicap’s philosophy is very much in line with ours, and their data-driven risk management framework is very effective in this regard,
“Our primary goal at Tikehau Capital is to create long-term value for our clients and shareholders. This investment in Helicap from our own balance sheet demonstrates our long view for the alternative financing industry in Southeast Asia and our backing of a team that will shape this growing space,” said Jean-Baptiste Feat of Tikehau Capital.
Since its founding, Helicap as a group has arranged US$150 million in volume in over 300 completed deals, working closely with leading alternative lending platforms and presenting investors with positive returns throughout. To achieve this consistent performance, Helicap has developed a proprietary technology that can crunch millions of loan data points to evaluate the creditworthiness of more than 500 digital lenders and businesses across SEA and Oceania.
“As alternative financing models emerge, it is essential to identify companies that can deliver financial services to the underbanked in Asia. At Phillip Private Equity, we have been impressed by Helicap’s leadership team and their ability to build a successful and resilient business model over the past few years despite the volatility presented by the pandemic,” said Grace Tang, Executive Director of Phillip Private Equity, a member company of PhillipCapital Group.
Digitalization has given rise to a new generation of investors, says Helicap’s David Z Wang [Q&A]