Fintech private investment platform Helicap, which specialises in the alternative lending space in Southeast Asia (SEA), has secured $5m in a strategic funding round.

The round was led by Temasek-backed international alternative asset management group Tikehau Capital, and integrated Asian financial house PhillipCapital.

Singapore-based Helicap connects global investors to private investment opportunities in Southeast Asia. The capital infusion will enable the firm to fortify its presence in the region and further accelerate its strategy to democratise access to private markets.

Helicap group CEO David Z Wang said: “At Helicap, our vision has always been to provide liquidity to alternative lenders with the mission of enabling financial access for millions of underbanked MSMEs.

“Over the coming months, we will be expanding our suite of data-driven products and services to establish Helicap as the go-to private financing arranger in SEA. We will continue to democratise access to private investments through a data-driven FinTech investment platform that prioritises risk management.”

Helicap focuses on providing curated access into Southeast Asia’s private placements space while financially supporting underbanked individuals and enterprises across the region.

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According to the firm, its goal is to bridge a $500bn financing gap that banks are unable to fill and provide capital to 300 million underbanked through 1,000 originators in the region.

Tikehau Capital Global Co-CIO Jean-Baptiste Feat said: “As alternative asset management and private credit investment specialists ourselves, we firmly believe in Helicap’s compelling value proposition. Helicap’s philosophy is very much in line with ours, and their data-driven risk management framework is very effective in this regard.

Phillip Private Equity executive director Grace Tang added: “As alternative financing models emerge, it is essential to identify companies that can deliver financial services to the underbanked in Asia. At Phillip Private Equity, we have been impressed by Helicap’s leadership team and their ability to build a successful and resilient business model over the past few years despite the volatility presented by the pandemic.”

Both Feat and Tang will join Helicap’s advisory team as part of the funding round.