Netbank, the banking as a service platform, and Investree, the leading SME lender from Indonesia, have announced a partnership to expand loans to SMEs in the Philippines.

This partnership allows Investree to accelerate its growth and so serve more of the underserved SME market.

SME lending is very underdeveloped in the Philippines. SME loans as a percentage of GDP is approximately 3%, compared to 37% in Thailand and other countries in the region. As a result, SMEs struggle to grow, slowing job creation and economic development. Unlocking the potential of SMEs would allow them to rapidly expand their impact.

Investree and Netbank are collaborating to expand the loans to this critical sector. Providing account opening services will allow Investree clients to finance their trade receivables, giving them vital cash to accelerate their growth. This service is a good example of Netbank’s partnership based business model.

“We are excited about the opportunities of working with Investree,” said Jaymar Mendoza, Head of Operations and Co-Founder of Netbank. “The SME lending market is a huge opportunity and we believe this partnership has the capacity to expand rapidly. We are looking forward to supporting Investree as they bring more innovation to the market.”

Kok-Chuan Lim, CEO of Investree Philippines, adds, “Netbank provides an important ‘banking-as-a-service’ to improve our service level for our clients. It allows us to further digitise our offerings and better manage credit risks for our investors. Investree is partnering with regional digital banks for channeling funds into MSMEs.”

This partnership illustrates the opportunities that digital focused lenders have in the Philippines. The market is very technically savvy and willing to use electronic banking services. “A partnership between a regulated bank and an alternative lender is very powerful”, added Jaymar. “Banks bring balance sheet management experience and processes, alternative lenders bring deep understanding of their clients. We look forward to working with many other similar companies.”

Netbank is the first banking as a service platform in Southeast Asia. It provides banking services, on a fully white-labelled basis, so that Filipino fintechs grow fast and reduce their costs, thus accelerating financial inclusion and innovation. It provides simple, creative, low cost solutions so that fintech can open accounts, offer loans, and manage payments.

Investree Philippines is a fintech-based joint venture company between the Gotianun-led Filinvest Development Corp. (FDC) and Investree Singapore that received approval from the Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to operate the first licensed crowdfunding platform for SME Financing in the country. This is the very first issuance to any company since the SEC released its implementing rules and regulations in 2019.

Investree Philippines aims to address the largely underserved $200+ billion MSME credit gap in the Philippines by connecting SMEs with institutional investors through its marketplace platform.

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