Philippine-based consumer fintech Salmon has on Thursday announced it has secured a $20 million debt facility from U.S. emerging-markets specialist investment firm Argentem Creek Partners.

Salmon said in a statement that the financing enables the firm to further scale its lending operations across the Philippines.

Building on significant investor interest in the debt placement, Salmon will expand its loan book, leveraging its existing point-of-sale and cash loan lending, and will launch new disruptive products in the second half of 2023.

“We are tremendously humbled by the strong investor interest, as well as Argentem Creek’s support for Salmon’s vision to create the best credit-led fintech in Southeast Asia and for making financial services more accessible to all,” said Salmon Co-Founder Raffy Montemayor.

He highlighted that Argentem Creek’s focus on building a win-win partnership with Salmon and believed that there will be many options for extending their work together, as Salmon maintained its rapid pace of development in Southeast Asia.

“We see this milestone as a testament to Salmon’s potential, as well as the market’s trust in our vision and business model,” he said.

According to him, this transaction also conveys a message of hope to many young and aspiring Filipinos, highlighting to them the incredible opportunities that the global investment community sees in the Philippines today.

“Financial inclusion will be an important driver of sustainable economic growth in the Philippines, and Salmon is committed to continuing to play a key role in this transformation,” he added.

Salmon, which was founded less than a year ago in July 2022, was set up by a group of fintech and financial services industry veterans led by Pavel Fedorov, George Chesakov and Raffy Montemayor, who brought together a team with a track record of delivering fast and profitable growth.

In year one, the fintech has expanded rapidly, launching its first credit product only four months after inception and delivering new product launches every three months since then.

Salmon currently has more than 140 professionals in its Manila headquarters.

Its platform enables customers to access financial products from the following partners registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the Philippines.

Argentem Creek Partners President and Co-Chief Investment Officer Maarten Terlouw said the firm is a long-term value-oriented investor and it is keen in supporting Salmon in its ambitious drive to expand financial inclusion across the region, as well as to provide best-in-class customer service and make lending more accessible to consumers in the region.

“We look forward to working together with Salmon’s world class investors including Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund ADQ, one of Europe’s top venture investors and a group of prominent local investors, as well as Salmon’s top notch management team, to deliver long-term value in the Philippines,” he said.

Argentem Creek Partners’ Chief Executive Officer and Founder Daniel Chapman also said consumer lending is one of the fastest growing segments in Southeast Asia.

“We are convinced that the new generation of credit-focused fintechs like Salmon have a tremendous opportunity and that Argentem Creek could play an important role in driving forward financial inclusion in these exciting markets,” he added.

Founded in 2015, Argentem Creek Partners is an emerging markets specialist investment firm with resources in Abu Dhabi, Buenos Aires, London, Minneapolis, and New York.

The firm seeks to deliver uncorrelated emerging market alpha by investing in special situations, private credit, high yield, trade finance, and bespoke capital solutions.

The firm specializes in identifying strategic and high-quality assets (in sectors such as energy, energy transition, critical minerals, agriculture, infrastructure, and technology) that may provide significant value upside.

Its investment strategy is executed through leading and implementing restructurings of balance sheets, capital structures, governance, identification of market dislocations and growth capital solutions.

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