Singapore-based peer-to-business (P2B) lending platform Validus Capital has expanded into Vietnam under the name Validus Vietnam.
The company’s foray into Vietnam comes six months after it entered Indonesia through its subsidiary Batumbu, in partnership with Indonesia’s Triputra Group.
Vietnam is Validus’ second market beyond its home base in Singapore. In a statement, Validus Capital said that Vietnam has an unmet USD 21 billion small and medium enterprise (SME) financing gap. While SMEs make up 97% of all enterprises in Vietnam, they only account for 22% of total bank lending.
To plug this gap, Validus will partner with corporates to provide loans to their vendors and subcontractors, specifically in burgeoning industries such as manufacturing, real estate, construction, healthcare, consumer services, retail, and wholesale trade.
While Validus did not reveal the composition of the Vietnamese team like it did for its Indonesian office, the company said Validus Vietnam will be directly led by its co-founder Nikhilesh Goel. It said the local team has experience in financial services, retail, and commercial banking in the country.
Validus Vietnam also has pilot programs in the pipeline, including those with the largest pharmaceutical, health, beauty, and personal care retail group of the country, namely Medicare Vietnam; and Unicons, a member of Coteccons Group, which is one of the largest private construction enterprises in Vietnam.
Validus Capital is backed by Temasek Holdings’ venture capital arm, Vertex Ventures, Dutch Development Bank FMO, and Vietnam’s VinaCapital Ventures. The company announced its intention to apply for a digital banking licence in Singapore in July this year. Singapore intends to issue up to five new digital banking licenses, which will be extended to non-bank players such as Validus.