Crowdo, an ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance)-driven neobank for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), closed its Pre-Series B bridge round of S$8 million ($5.9 million) co-led by existing investors Gobi Partners and iVest Capital Pte Ltd.

In a press statement, Crowdo said the convertible round also saw participation from SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore. In addition, Impact Investment Exchange Pte Ltd (IIX), an impact and sustainability investors, provided debt financing through WLB4Climate, the fourth issuance in IIX’s innovative Women’s Livelihood Bond series.

Crowdo has disbursed over S$100 million in financing, seen its monthly revenue grow by more than five times last year, achieved group profitability in mid-2020, and launched a supply chain digitization platform.

Leo Shimada, Co-Founder and Group CEO of Crowdo said, “We have proven ourselves to be one of the most innovative and capital-efficient neobanks in the industry by transforming our S$1.4 million Series A into over S$100 million in disbursements to SMEs, while developing an end-to-end core neobanking system. I am confident that this new round of fundraising will accelerate Crowdo’s ascension to new heights as a neobank market leader.

“In line with our mission to use innovative technology to improve people’s livelihoods, we are now reinforcing our ESG infrastructure and product line-up. Thanks to IIX, one of our flagship products will deliver up to $50 million in financing to women-led businesses and companies over the next few years to promote gender equality and increase women’s access to financing,” he added.

The funds will be used to expand Crowdo’s neobank platform in Singapore and Indonesia and scale its ESG financing portfolio. Crowdo is headquartered in Singapore but fully licensed by the Indonesian financial authority Otoritas Jasa Keuangan for digital lending in since 2017. The fintech is also registered with the Securities Commission Malaysia.

In 2021, Crowdo facilitated close to S$10 million in equity investments in Malaysia. This month, the neobank plans to launch a new ESG financing product targeting women-led enterprises with a plan to disburse up to S$16 million in 2022. In July 2021, TechNode Global reported that Crowdo was part of a consortium bidding for Malaysia’s digital banking licenses. Malaysia central bank Bank Negara Malaysia has said it would issue up to five licenses by early 2022.

Jin Hui Wong, Partner of Ivest Capital, said, “We have observed the significant rise of fintech industry across the world and we think the next fintech wave would happen in Southeast Asia. As an existing investor of Crowdo, we have seen the company deliver consistent growth over the years and we are very excited to lead this investment to make Crowdo the market leader in the region.”

Dan Chong, Managing Director of Gobi Partners, said, “Gobi Partners’ strong commitment to ESG investing is a perfect match with Crowdo, which leverages its unique neobank technology to improve access to financing to SMEs and women-led businesses, two key groups that have been traditionally underserved by legacy banks. We are excited to back Leo and Nicola and their team once again, as Crowdo progresses along its journey to improve lives and drive social impact with technology.”

Crowdo offers its SME clients solutions: one platform assists SMEs to digitize their operations to boost productivity, and the second platform helps SMEs understand and access financing and banking products. The fintech has partnered with SME
communities and works with digital banks and other financial institutions and credit funds who are seeking to finance SMEs in emerging markets using Crowdo’s unique technology and infrastructure.