SCB Abacus, an alternative digital lending platform in Thailand, has raised $12 million in an oversubscribed Series A funding round. The round was led by Openspace Ventures, with additional capital coming from Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and CAI Partners. The funding injection will be used to help the fast-growing business accelerate its product development and expansion, strengthen its technology infrastructure and underwriting capabilities, and recruit additional talent.
The company's flagship product, MoneyThunder, is a digital unsecured lending application that serves the underbanked population in Thailand. The platform utilizes SCB Abacus' in-house artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to underwrite loans and provide a completely automated approval experience for consumers. SCB Abacus also offers customers a fast time to money of 5-20 minutes from initial registration through loan disbursement. As of August 2021, MoneyThunder has seen close to 5 million application downloads with loans disbursed surging, increasing by a multiple of 10 in 2021 versus 2020.
A First of its Kind Fintech Business
SCB Abacus is the first fintech spin-off in the Thai banking industry, combining the resources of a leading national bank with the expertise and scale-up experience of international venture capitals. As a result, the business will be best positioned to transform an alternative lending sector traditionally dominated by informal credit solutions.
Dr. Sutapa Amornvivat, founder and CEO of SCB Abacus, said "the company's current mission is to create better access to finance through inclusive digital lending platforms. Today, at least 60% of our borrowers were previously denied bank loans. With the use of our in-house machine learning credit models and artificial intelligence (AI) technology, we can assess borrowers using alternative information and provide a fast and seamless loan process. We envision wider usage of our data infrastructures in other non-financial sectors as well."
"We are grateful for the continuing supports from Siam Commercial Bank and SCB 10X, allowing us the freedom to prove the potential of our AI and data capabilities. We are confident that our team of experienced and dedicated talents, together with expertise of leading venture capital investors, will push forward changes to how financial services in Southeast Asia can be more accessible through innovations", added Dr. Sutapa.
Nichapat Ark, Director & Head of Thailand for Openspace Ventures, said, "with their local expertise, blue-chip team and world-class technology, we are confident that SCB Abacus will lead the way in addressing the pressing challenges caused by the limited lending market in the country. In doing so, we believe the company can achieve significant scale and generate transformative social impact. It's why we are so excited to welcome SCB Abacus to our growing portfolio in Thailand."
Carmen Yuen, Partner of Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia, added, "We are pleased to welcome Dr. Sutapa and her team as the first Thai company founded by a Thai team in our portfolio and look forward to supporting their meaningful journey of enabling the much needed access to productivity loans for micro business owners. They make up a significant 84% of 3 million enterprises in Thailand, forming the very backbone of the local economy. We believe that SCB Abacus is well-positioned to better serve and drive financial access and inclusion for this segment."
Delivering Rapid Growth to Address a Critical Market Need
Dr. Arak Sutivong, CEO of SCB 10X, a major shareholder in SCB Abacus, added, "we are delighted and excited to partner with Openspace Ventures, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and CAI Partners, as our lead global investors. Looking ahead to growth in the industry, there is massive potential for SCB Abacus. We believe that the fundraising will support and strengthen the foundation for SCB Abacus with long-term and sustainable growth."
Following the Series A funding round, the SCB Abacus team believes the business is now ready to further deliver on its mission of creating better access to finance and ultimately giving everyone an equal opportunity to succeed. Bolstered by a stronger talent pool and best-in-class technology infrastructures, SCB Abacus expects to raise a Series B funding round by end of 2022 with a fivefold growth of its current loan portfolio compared to 2021.
To learn more, please visit www.scbabacus.com