Funding Societies Acquires CardUp, Set To Offer SMEs A More Unified Financial Offering

Funding Societies, has acquired regional payments solution, CardUp, for an undisclosed amount. Through the move, the company will acquire CardUp’s payments capabilities such as card payments to non-card accepting recipients (domestic and cross-border), online payments acceptance, invoice automation tools as well as its licenses and integrations with renowned third-party business software.

CardUp’s payment services will complement Funding Societies’ lending products, to offer a unified financial experience for SMEs across the region, enabling SMEs to manage and pay expenses, receive payments, and borrow funds all within one seamless digital platform.

The acquisition comes off the back of Funding Societies’ recent Series C+ raise of US$294 million (RM1.29 billion) in February 2022, of which US$144 million (RM633.53 million) was raised in equity, and its recent investment into Bank Index in Indonesia, launch of business virtual card Elevate in Singapore and entry into Vietnam, strengthening the company’s suite of financial services for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Co-founder and Group CEO of Funding Societies | Modalku, Kelvin Teo, said, “Having known Nicki and CardUp since 2018, we find CardUp has a great cultural and strategic fit. Acquiring CardUp enables us to leapfrog and accelerate our market leadership in the regional FinTech space, integrating payments capabilities, enhanced user experience and local licenses to our digital lending experience across key markets.”

Founder and CEO of CardUp, Nicki Ramsay, said, “We have long recognised Funding Societies as the regional leader in SME financing and a complementary counterpart to our expertise in payments. This acquisition reflects strong strategic and cultural synergy with both parties aligned on the mission to help SMEs improve the way they operate their business and manage cash flow. We are confident that CardUp and our employees are in good hands with Kelvin and his team, and we look forward to this next chapter of growth.”

Once the acquisition is finalised and approved by the regulators, Funding Societies will welcome Nicki Ramsay into its management team to lead its payments business while retaining all of CardUp’s employees across Asia.

CardUp will continue to operate its consumer and business services and maintain its long-standing relationships with card networks, issuers, and media partners. Funding Societies and CardUp will tap into strong synergies in the form of complementary talent, technologies, as well as bank and technology partnerships to further empower SMEs in Southeast Asia.

The acquisition comes at the right juncture as SMEs are expected to push ASEAN’s digital finance market to US$60 billion (RM263.64 billion) in revenues by 2025 and contribute 17% of the financial services industry’s total revenue, while the region’s business payments sector grows at a CAGR of 10% over the next five years. The transaction supports the current drive of ASEAN SMEs to digitally transform their financial processes, to save time and money, and to better serve their customers via next-generation financial tools and services.

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