Yesterday we reported that RBS was kicking off a program this week to refer small and medium enterprise (SME) customers who didn’t meet their loan criteria to P2P lenders. The news marked a milestone in that a major UK bank with around 33% of the small business lending market was embracing alternative lending models for its customers.
In a different but similar announcement that shows times are changing amidst the merging of traditional and innovative finance models, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) has announced that it is partnering with Clearbridge Accelerator Pte Ltd. (CBA) to develop a crowdfunding platform. The joint venture crowdfunding platform is aiming to provide a capital raising vehicle for entrepreneurs and SMEs in ASIA.
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Under the terms of the partnership, the SGX and CBA will together form a new joint venture company to develop the fund-raising platform. According to the SGX, the venture will seek to form a strategic equity partnership with an experienced platform operator and industry stakeholders, such as financial institutions, in order to operate the new capital-raising platform, as well as solicit other partners to create investor demand. The venture is being assisted by SPRING Singapore, a government-sponsored agency that helps local firms grow.
For the SGX, the partnership marks an extension of using their experience as an intermediary for SME firms to raise capital and extending it to include off-exchange opportunities such as crowdfunding. On this, SGX’s Head of SME Development & Listings Mohamed Nasser Ismail stated, “We are excited about this opportunity to work with Clearbridge Accelerator to help companies access capital more easily and become a pan-Asian platform to support equity crowdfunding. SGX has a long history of supporting entrepreneurs: our Catalist board is a much sought-after avenue for SMEs to raise funds. This new platform will not only expand our suite of fund-raising services but also enable us to support entrepreneurs and SMEs at every stage of their growth.”
Adding to this comment, Clearbridge Accelerator Managing Partner Johnson Chen stated, “Clearbridge Accelerator will work closely with SGX to grow this into a premier capital-raising platform for entrepreneurs and SMEs in Singapore and the region.”