Funding Societies, the Singapore-based small and medium enterprise (SME) digital financing platform, has partnered with Food Market Hub and Supply Bunny, two solution providers for food and beverage (F&B) supplies in Malaysia, to launch a new business-to-business (B2B) embedded financing program.

The three parties said in a statement on Wednesday that the program is the first of its kind in the F&B industry, for restaurants and F&B outlet operators in Malaysia.

Powered by Funding Societies, the embedded financing in this tripartite partnership allows for seamless integration into Food Market Hub and Supply Bunny’s solutions.

This enables the 3,000 F&B operators on Food Market Hub’s platform to receive their inventory orders from the 800 suppliers on Supply Bunny’s platform seamlessly.

The embedded financing works by giving the F&B operators the option to defer payment up to 30 days from the date of delivery; simultaneously, the suppliers receive payment upon delivery.

With cash flow management being essential for SMEs including those in the F&B segment, the initiative will therefore allow restaurant operators to better manage their cash flow and working capital as they focus on sustaining or growing their businesses.

Chai Kien Poon, Country Head of Funding Societies Malaysia, said access to capital remains key to SMEs in the F&B sector as they seek to meet the increased customers’ demand post-pandemic and to help them scale their operations.

“Hence, getting easy and direct access to financing is critical,

“By partnering with Food Market Hub and Supply Bunny, Funding Societies will be able to serve and scale creditworthy, underserved SMEs in the F&B industry,” he said.

Meanwhile, according to Food Market Hub Chief Executive Officer Anthony See, Malaysia’s F&B industry is projected to contribute MYR35.2 billion ($8.01 billion) to the country’s gross domestic product.

Amidst that, an estimated 22 percent growth was recorded for 2022 and a further 8 percent expansion this year, he said.

“Despite this year’s optimistic outlook, we need to prepare ourselves for a possible recessionary economy,

“In such a situation, the cash flow that SMEs save would allow them breathing room, so that they can reinvest into marketing or improving their customer experience. We want to help restaurant operators succeed in the competitive F&B industry” he added.

According to the statement, successful restaurant and F&B outlet operators are eligible for a collateral-free, financing facility of up to MYR50,000 ($11372) under the business to business (B2B) financing program, with end-to-end application processes taking approximately two weeks.

“We ran a successful pilot over the last few months involving cold-chain and fresh suppliers, and we are now ready to roll out the program on a larger scale,” said Tham Keng Yew, Chief Executive Officer of Supply Bunny.

“We are excited about the impact that this initiative can have on the food service vertical in Malaysia – specifically improving cash flow efficiency facilitates just-in-time supply and reduces the stress on the supply chain,

“The benefits, in turn, would contribute towards Malaysia’s short- and medium-term policy on food security,” he added.

The launch of the B2B financing program is a major milestone for Food Market Hub and Supply Bunny as this marks their first partnership with a leading digital financing platform and is part of their mutually aligned commitment to supporting the growth and development of Malaysian SMEs, specifically the F&B industry.

In Malaysia, Funding Societies has successfully disbursed more than MYR2 billion ($450 million) in financing, directly supporting thousands of SMEs.

Funding Societies | Modalku is the largest unified SME digital finance platform in Southeast Asia.

In eight years, the firm has helped finance over 5.1 million business deals close to MYR13.43 billion ($3.05 billion) in funding.

Founded in 2017, Food Market Hub is a procurement and inventory management platform for the F&B industry.

The firm operates in six countries across the Asia Pacific region with nearly $1 billion in total order value.

Supply Bunny is a purchasing aggregator, allowing small to medium sized food service operators to access the best tier of pricing available.

Founded since 2016, more than 300+ operators are using Supply Bunny today for key purchases.

Funding Societies crosses $27.8M in loan disbursements to SMEs in Thailand