Investree has received approval from the Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to operate a crowdfunding platform for local startups and SMEs. According to a statement by the SEC, the Commission en banc on December 22, 2020, gave approval for Investree Philippines, Inc. to operate a lending-based crowdfunding platform.

“The crowdfunding activities will involve banks or qualified buyers as lenders, and will be limited to small, medium and emerging enterprises as borrowers,” the SEC said in the statement.

“The registration of Investree as crowdfunding intermediary and funding portal shall be valid for one year, subject to a review by the SEC of the actual operation of the crowdfunding portal during the first 11 months for possible extension,” the statement further said.

Investree Philippines, Inc. is a partnership between Investree Singapore PTE LTD and Filinvest Development Corporation, which is the publicly-listed holdings company of the Filinvest Group’s various firms.

The SEC approved its rules on crowdfunding in June 2019, “allowing startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) greater access to funding while providing the public more investment options.” It defined crowdfunding activities into four types: donation-based, reward-based, lending-based, and equity-based.

The Commission set rules that issuers, intermediaries and investors must follow in equity-and lending-based crowdfunding, including limitations in the aggregate amount of securities, limit on total investments, and capitalization requirements.

Founded in 2015 in Indonesia, Investree has raised at least $55.88 million in five funding rounds (with one round having undisclosed amount), with the most recent being $23.5 million in a Series C funding round in April 2020, led by BRI Ventures and MUFG Innovation Parnters, as well as a commitment of $15 million in November 2020 from US-based Accial Capital.