Irish fintech business to expand into Asia after landing $1.2m in investment
IRISH-led fintech business First Circle has won US$1.2 million in investment to expand into the south-east Asian market.
The company wants to address the undersupply of short-term working capital in the Philippines and across Southeast Asia. First Circle was founded in 2015 by Patrick Lynch, formerly of Morgan Stanley, and Tony Ennis, formerly of the Web Summit and Dutchman Jorrit Koop.
The company is essentially a fintech community of entrepreneurs, investors and startups based in the Philippines. Through the community fintech startups can access collateral-free business financing.
The entrepreneurs identified a lack of focus on business financing in the Asian markets with consumer lending, mortgages and asset-based lending taking priority.
Through First Circle’s community, SMEs can apply for a cash-flow loan and receive a decision within 24 hours.
“Much like in Ireland, small businesses are the lifeblood of the Filipino and Southeast 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. We’re looking to change that and early indications suggest we’re onto something,” First Circle CEO Patrick Lynch told the Irish Independent.
— FINTECH Circle (@FINTECHCircle) October 24, 2016
“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,” he added.
This latest funding round was concluded by Lynch and Ennis after they secured investment from Dublin and London-based Key Capital, supported by firms in San Francisco and Singapore, as reported by Ireland-based Independent.
First Circle launched its service in the Philippines on October 8.
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