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FINANCIAL SERVICES, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Daily Briefing: Grant borrowers who repay their loans on time will benefit from new money lending business models; venture capital firm ICT Fund set to launch US$100m vehicle in 2019

And business management AI platform Osome clinches US$2m seed funding.

From Channel News Asia:

Grant borrowers who repay their loans early or on time will be granted better terms from new business models for money lending as part of an initiative to better protect borrowers through business-led improvements, according to the Ministry of Law.

The new models will also include more comprehensive use of data to assess creditworthiness, as well as use digitalised processes to lower cost.

Of the six firms who will trial these models, three - Credit 21, Dey and Quick Credit - can apply to operate four moneylending outlets each. IFS Capital, Minterest and Xingang Investment are allowed to operate one outlet each.

"The six firms will be issued moneylending licences to operate the outlets they apply for, in a one-time lifting of the moratorium imposed on the issuance of new licences."

Read more here.

From Deal Street Asia:

Venture capital firm ICT Fund is launching its US$100m vehicle ICT Fund II in 2019 which will issue average check sizes of US$10m to approximately 12-14 enterprise technology firms across Southeast Asia.

According to Brijesh Pande, founder and managing partner of ICT Fund, the second fund will target 20-25 limited partners (LP), of which it expects 10-15 to be new backers. Pande added that it is seeking out more corporates and family offices this round. The fund’s average LP commitment size will be US$4-5m.

The venture capital firm last closed its US$35m ICT Fund I in 2015. The fund made six investments in companies such as Deskera, Latize, Six Scape, Taiger and Vi Dimensions.

The fund also expects to see exits from its portfolio companies in the next two years.

Read more here.

From e27:

Artificial intelligence (AI) platform for business management Osome bagged US$2m which it plans to use to develop new products and expand their services into new markets such as Australia and Hong Kong.

It uses chatbot to run tasks that include business registration, company record-keeping, accounting, filing of annual returns, corporate secretary services, and payroll management, enabling users to cut down on middlemen and perform these tasks more conveniently.

On the Osome platform, company registration for Singaporeans takes less than one hour and costs $350 (US$255), including government fees.

“By delegating these routine tasks to robots, we are able to ensure greater quality of work, and in most cases, this turns out to be even more cost effective for our customers,” said Osome founder Victor Lysenko in a press statement.

Read more here.

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