An Irish-led fintech company based in the Philippines has publicly announced the completion of $1.2m seed investment round to support the roll-out of its online SME financing platform in South East Asia.
First Circle offers an online platform where SMEs can apply for a cash-flow loan in five minutes, obtain a decision within 24 hours and receive their loan the very next day.
The company was founded in 2015 by Irishmen, Patrick Lynch (26) - a former associate at Morgan Stanley, Tony Ennis (26) - the Founding Engineer and former CTO at Web Summit, alongside Dutchman, Jorrit Koop - the former MD of the CompareAsiaGroup, to address the undersupply of short-term working capital and trade finance to SMEs in the Philippines and across South East Asia.
The new investment led by Dublin and London based Key Capital and supported by San Francisco based 500 Startups and Singapore based IMJ Investment Partners, is believed to be the largest ever seed funding round completed in the region.
CEO, Patrick Lynch says, "Much like in Ireland small businesses are the life blood of the Filipino and South East Asian economies. Yet despite their potential in a rapidly expanding economy we were surprised by the lack of support offered to local businesses, particularly when it comes to access to capital."
He added, "We’re looking to change that and early indications suggest we’re onto something. We’re building a community of the most dynamic SMEs in South East Asia and providing them with the funding and support they need to reach their full potential."