Validus, a Singapore-based financing platform, announced Thursday it has acquired KlearCard’s business payments and expense management technology platform with an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition of the KlearCard platform, an established player with a proven product-market fit in the region, will pave the way for Validus to accelerate its build-out of Southeast Asia’s first credit-led SME-focused Neobank, said Validus in a statement.

Validus’ Neobank will offer a unified platform to provide small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with a best-in-class experience through a fully integrated and holistic suite of financial tools and analytics to manage and grow their business.

KlearCard’s platform enables businesses to issue virtual corporate cards instantly with built-in spend control features. This creates tangible time and cost-saving benefits through the issuance of virtual cards to employees and the simplification of accounting workflows, approvals, and audits with full integration to common accounting software. In addition, it addresses a pain point of many SME owners, who lack a single place to get an overview of their business.

Through Validus’ integration of KlearCard’s technology, businesses can expect to have a personalized and live mobile interface that provides them with the tools to manage their business seamlessly, and spend time focusing on growth.

KlearCard is one of the leaders in expense management in Singapore and counts well-known enterprises amongst its clients including leading multinational companies in the telecommunications, food and beverage (F&B), payments, and professional services industries.

“SMEs have rapidly adapted and embraced digitalization to keep their businesses thriving amid the pandemic. With the acquisition of KlearCard, we are well-positioned to strengthen our support for SMEs with one-stop financial management solutions that make it easier for them to grow and manage their business digitally. We will continue to focus on product innovation and strategic investments in technology and people, which in turn, will drive success for our clients across the region,” said Nikhilesh Goel, Co-Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer of Validus.

Validus’ first institutional investor Ventures SEA Partner Liu Genping also said, this is a milestone acquisition for Validus as it affirms Validus’ strong commitment to enhancing its capability to power the growth and success of its SME customers, and it clearly positions Validus for the next phase of growth in the region as a leading SME-focused Neobank.

“Despite being a bootstrapped company, we’ve seen a 50 percent month-on-month growth in transaction volumes and have landed well-known businesses as customers since we started KlearCard back in 2020,” said Sid Narayanan, Co-Founder of KlearCard.

KlearCard Co-founder Cian O’Dowd also said this transaction is a great outcome for all stakeholders as they all get a very significant positive return on their investment over an 18-month time horizon despite headwinds from COVID-19.

KlearCard was founded in 2020 by Sid Narayanan, Cian O’Dowd, and Arun Rajkumar.

Validus’ acquisition of KlearCard and accelerated growth comes at a timely stage in its journey, just as it has launched its Series C fundraise targeting $100 million in equity and debt. Evercore Singapore, a leading independent global investment bank, is advising Validus on the fundraise. The funds will enable Validus to strengthen its SME Neobank, expand geographically to grow its support for underserved SMEs, and cement its position as a leader in digital financial management and lending solutions for SMEs in the region.

Founded in 2015 to address the unmet financing needs of SMEs, Validus is Southeast Asia’s largest SME digital financing platform. Headquartered in Singapore, Validus is present in four markets–Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Validus uses data analytics and AI to drive growth financing to the underserved SME sector via funds from individual and institutional investors. Validus holds a Capital Markets Services Licence by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and is also licensed by Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK) in Indonesia and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Thailand.

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