Asia-focused technology venture capital firm Fatfish Group (ASX: FFG) has raised its shareholding in fintech investee company Smartfunding Pte Ltd to 89.4% following approval by the country’s central bank.
Headquartered in Singapore and licenced by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Smartfunding launched a buy now pay later (BNPL) financing offering in February to small-to-medium enterprises and corporate across South East Asia.
In December, Fatfish received the bank’s approval to increase its 19.9% stake in Smartfunding, which is licenced and regulated under the Singapore Securities and Futures Act as a financial institution.
Fatfish subsequently took up a $300,000 share subscription under a rights issues, boosting its direct shareholding to 39.95%.
Meanwhile, Fatfish subsidiary Abelco Investment Group AB took up a $200,000 portion of the rights issue which resulted in a stake of 49.4% in Smartfunding.
The two stakes combined give Fatfish a direct and indirect equity of 89.4% in Smartfunding.
Fatfish chief executive officer Kin W Lau said the increased stake was in line with the group’s aim to increase its direct stake in fintech businesses across the South East Asian market.
“Smartfunding is pioneering the BNPL service in the region [and] by increasing our direct stake, we will be in a stronger position to drive the business forward and provide it with the support it needs to succeed,” he said.
In February, Smartfunding secured a deal with Malaysian retail technology platform KryptoPOS Sdn Bhd to rollout its BNPL service to over 5,000 merchants and more than 15 million consumers in the region.
Established in 2011, Fatfish Group was recognised as an incubator partner by Singapore’s government before becoming one of the first internet venture accelerators in the Asia Pacific region to list on a national stock exchange.
Ten years on, the company has expanded its operations to Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Sweden and the United Kingdom, providing it with strategic access to capital, innovation and talent.