Funding Societies, a Singapore-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) digital financing platform, announced Thursday that it has launched Elevate, a virtual card solution for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Singapore.

The card is available on a credit line on the FinTech platform’s website and mobile app, and entitles qualified MSMEs to interest free credit for a period of up to 55 days, Funding Societies said in a statement.

Unlike bank alternatives, no personal guarantees are required for limits under S$30,000 ($22,129). Funding Societies’ Elevate will close the 80 percent corporate credit card gap in the country’s MSME sector, which currently sees many business directors take on personal liabilities on their own credit cards in order to unlock cash flow for the company.

This launch comes on the back of Funding Societies’ recent $294 million Series C+ fundraise, some of which it has channeled to such new strategic products, solidifying its position as a one-stop shop for the region’s MSME banking needs.

Elevate, a free-to-apply credit line that comes with an opt-in virtual card, is enabled by banking-as-a-service provider, MatchMove, and developed in partnership with Mastercard. It offers small businesses rapid access to credit limits, where approvals of applications are given within one business day. Business owners can easily apply for the card and credit line via Funding Societies’ website using Myinfo Business, and thereafter begin tracking and managing all spendings within the platform’s dedicated mobile app.

Elevate, an expense card for growing businesses, entails Mastercard privileges such as a corporate liability waiver feature that protects MSMEs against unauthorised charges being made to their business card accounts. This is in line with Funding Societies’ expansion into financial offerings for MSMEs beyond lending, like expense management.

The introduction of Elevate comes at the right juncture as MSMEs still face difficulties in obtaining a corporate credit card from traditional financial institutions due to their substantially lower spending and the need for customised credit terms, despite being the largest contributor to Singapore’s economy, comprising 99 percent of total enterprises and contributing 70 percent of total employment in 2020.

Elevate combats pertinent frustrations that small business owners face in the form of insufficient payment terms from suppliers and inadequate credit limits on personal cards.

“In an environment where traditional providers issue corporate lines to only large businesses with a strong credit track record, or offer debit cards with deposit accounts, Funding Societies’ Elevate serves an urgent and important need of micro and small businesses in Singapore who need flexible credit to pay for their expenses. When business owners do not take on personal liability on their own credit cards, their business becomes more sustainable,” said Shrawan Saraogi, Funding Societies, Group Head of Strategy, New Business.

Seven years into its establishment, Funding Societies today serves more than 76,000 MSMEs across five countries in Southeast Asia – Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. To date, it has disbursed over S$2.8 billion ($2.07 billion) in business financing through more than 5 million loans, and is expanding into neobanking following its recent multi-million dollar fundraise.

According to an Impact study conducted by the Fintech platform using methodology by the Asian Development Bank, Funding Societies-backed MSMEs has created about 350,000 jobs across the region.

“Our SMEs are able to create such an impact on regional economies largely because we work with them to develop financing solutions they really need. This product is a business card designed specifically for SMEs to take their businesses to the next level,” Saraogi added.

Furthermore, Elevate closes the loop for the 83 percent of MSMEs in Singapore who are increasingly digitizing their operations, by compacting all company transactions and expenses onto a single-view online dashboard.

Since this financing solution launched in January, Funding Societies has approved over S$1 million ($740,000) in credit limits to small businesses across the nation. Within two months, almost one quarter of that limit has been used by its clients for company purchases and supplier payments. Elevate serves enterprises across all verticals, including the F&B, retail, e-commerce, logistics, and technology sectors.

Funding Societies is a SME digital financing platform in Southeast Asia that expanding into SME neobank. It is licensed and registered in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and operating in Vietnam. It is backed by SoftBank Vision Fund, SoftBank Ventures Asia, Sequoia Capital India, Alpha JWC Ventures, SMBC Bank, Samsung Ventures, BRI Ventures, Endeavor, SGInnovate, Qualgro, and Golden Gate Ventures amongst others.

The FinTech company provides business financing to SMEs, annualizing $1 billion disbursement in 2021.

Singapore’s Funding Societies raises $294M led by Softbank to fuel expansion plans in Southeast Asia