Rather than traditional collateral, First Circle relies on basic data such as customer numbers and transactions to underwrite loans averaging $10,000.
The startup has lent $5 million to date to small- and mid-sized businesses in the Philippines, a country with a population of nearly 100 million.
Eyeing potential expansion into Indonesia or Thailand, Patrick Lynch, First Circle co-founder and CEO says the company looks “at markets where there are low levels of small- and medium- enterprise financing, increasing e-commerce penetration, and sub-optimal availability of capital.”
Accion Venture Lab and Silicon Valley-based Deep Blue Ventures provided the capital. Last year, the firm raised $1.2 million from 500 startups, IMG, Key Capital and others.