Fasanara Capital, a UK alternative asset manager, will lend S$50mn to small and medium-sized enterprises in Singapore through peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace Validus.

Fasanara is a London-headquartered quant fund, meaning it chooses investments based on quantitative analysis of data. It has already funded 2,800 loans through Validus’ marketplace since 2019, the Singapore company says in a statement.

In addition to S$20mn made available through the P2P marketplace, Fasanara is also tipping S$30mn of funding into loans provided by Validus through the Singapore government’s Enterprise Financing Scheme for SMEs.

Under the scheme, the government shoulders up to 70% of the risk for loans, capped at S$10mn each, to SMEs through participating financial institutions, including Validus. Loan categories include trade, working capital and venture debt.

“We are pleased to attract such strong partners to our platform, and are honoured by the trust and support that Fasanara has in us,” says Validus group CEO Nikhilesh Goel. “This further validates our robust technology, processes, and innovative business model while reiterating Validus’ commitment to empowering and driving financial inclusion for SMEs.”

The company, founded in 2015, tells GTR that 80% of the SMEs receiving its short and medium-term zero-collateral loans are in “essential services and sectors” such as wholesale, transportation, waste management, manufacturing, construction and marine.

It says it has disbursed more than S$150mn in loans in the quarter to date. Last month it signed a deal with tech manufacturer Siemens to provide financing to the company’s distributors.

Fasanara says it offers “access to inventive disruptive products and real-economy impact investment solutions, while supporting underbanked SMEs globally”.

“With Validus we found a partner that shares the same commitment in addressing the SME financing gap through providing stable funding,” says Francesco Filia, the asset manager’s CEO.

“Validus’ proven technology and ‘glocal’ structure gives them a strategic advantage in implementing best practices, strong credit models and governance framework – ingredients for a mutually beneficial partnership that we can leverage across other markets in the region.”

Although Singapore skirted the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, it has rolled out several support measures for SMEs.

In addition to an extension of its risk under the Enterprise Financing Scheme and temporary bridging loans, the Association of Banks in Singapore has made it easier for SMEs to restructure debt and extend payment periods.