On Tuesday 21 April, the Singapore government announced the extension of Covid-19 circuit breaker until June 1. So what does it mean for our team and the community we serve?
Validus is business-as-usual. The onset of Covid-19 meant new health and safety measures as well as remote working arrangements are fast becoming the new normal. The health and safety of our team is of paramount importance as we continue to embrace changes while protecting our teammates, even if it means large-scale work-from-home policies.
We’ve always seen technology as a growth enabler, and today, that remains especially true – businesses have a chance to test, evaluate and update business contingency plans, ensuring that the safety of employees and maintaining efficiency, with an eye on improving processes. Since early March, we’ve started work-from-home arrangements with guidelines in place to ensure accountability and productivity. As a cloud-based FinTech, we expect to be fully operational with minimal disruption even in a full lockdown scenario.
We continue to support our SMEs and have further pledged to provide critical financing support to SMEs on the front lines of battling the pandemic. Through invoice financing on our platform, SMEs can obtain funds in a much shorter time frame of 48 hours, without the need to pledge collateral, and with much less paperwork required. This ensures that any effort or response by SMEs to help tackle the virus and support the community in this crisis is timely and well-supported.
Our platform will provide much-needed working capital to bolster SMEs’ frontline responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, for those in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, distribution sectors, as well as associated services such as logistics and cleaning services.
Through working closely with corporate partners and investors on the platform, we also aim to support SMEs who are stepping up and making a difference by pivoting or retooling their business to adapt services and products that are needed in the fight against Covid-19. In the last month, we have disbursed multiple such loans averaging $250,000 to $500,000, to support SMEs’ efforts in meeting the demand for face masks and other protective gear in short supply. Learn more https://validus.sg/vsupport →
We remain committed to our Investors and have implemented additional measures as we continue to actively manage risks to our portfolio. As our strategy is heavily focused on Corporate Vendor Financing (CVF), we have not seen any adverse effect on our portfolio to date. While no segment can be completely immune, our strategy has allowed us to have strong built-in safeguards and to foster stability in this segment, such that our SMEs will be better positioned to weather the impact of the crisis.
We are seeing a healthy demand for short-term financing, and expect to see an increase in established and reputable SMEs seeking alternative financing to meet cash flow challenges. Validus is well-placed to onboard these SMEs, and are collaborating with industry partners to ensure that growth opportunities remain available for SMEs in their ecosystem.
While this is an unprecedented time, SME direct lending continues to offer attractive risk-adjusted returns, even more so given its low correlation to volatile equity and bond markets. We will be hosting a webinar for those looking to gain exposure to SME private credit as a form of responsible or impact investing. Register here to join the session →
We remain committed to doing what’s right for our people, our investors, partners and the SME community we serve. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us at any time. As the saying goes, tough times don’t last but tough people do. Let’s each play our part with strength and grace, and we will get through as one #SGUnited people.
For further resources on COVID-19, please refer to the following:
- Enterprise Singapore
- Ministry of Health
- Ministry of Manpower
- Ministry of Finance
- Ministry of Trade and Industry