11 November 2021

HSBC launches Fund to support high-growth tech companies

**Supports tech firms tapping opportunities within ASEAN’s growing digital economy **
**Carro amongst first to utilise Fund to enable further expansion**

HSBC Singapore announced the launch of a US$200 million lending Fund to support high-growth technology companies in Singapore, seeking expansion across Southeast Asia and further afield.

The Fund will primarily support firms who are tapping opportunities within ASEAN’s growing digital economy in sectors such as e-commerce, AI and robotics, FinTech and payments platforms, disruptive telecommunications, and ride hailing and transport.

The Fund will provide loans to companies that have already received funding from strategic investors, including venture capital or private equity firms, and have surpassed the proof of concept phase in the earliest stages of a start-up’s journey.

Regina Lee, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC Singapore: “Singapore has a vibrant tech culture breeding firms that seek out digital gaps in the consumer and business markets. To succeed, these businesses need to scale quickly, often including customer reach, employees and data capabilities. The Fund aims to provide this specialized finance to support the next generation of growth companies in Southeast Asia.”

As a way to supercharge expansion plans, HSBC will enable nominated clients access to its full spectrum of banking capabilities to support each stage of their growth journey, including cross-border cash management and foreign exchange to accessing the private and public capital markets. These relatively bespoke solutions are typically available to higher revenue generating firms. HSBC will also help to build companies’ networks by connecting them with peers and industry thought leaders through exclusive events.

Carro taps on Fund
Carro, Southeast Asia’s largest AI-driven car marketplace, is among the first clients of HSBC Singapore to draw on the Fund to support its ongoing expansion. Founded in 2015 in Singapore, Carro has since raised over US$400 million in equity from a suite of strategic investors to become one of the regions fastest growing tech companies.1

Ernest Chew, Chief Financial Officer, Carro commented on Carro’s expansion across Southeast Asia: “We believe ASEAN is an enormous untapped market for Carro and is a platform to potentially strengthen our footprint beyond Asia. COVID-19 has accelerated e-commerce and so we must keep investing to ensure the online experience is more enriching than the in-person buying experience.

The partnership with banks is critical in our continued success. HSBC’s Fund has provided us with capital in addition to our existing equity, enabling us to achieve our aim of better serving the underserved used car segment with AI and tech.”

Ms. Lee added: “Carro has seen impressive growth and we are delighted that the Fund can support them at this crucial juncture. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Carro as they continue on their growth journey.”

ASEAN’s new economy
ASEAN’s digital economy is booming and has been further boosted by the pandemic which has bought more new consumers online via their mobile phones. Valued at US$100 billion in 2020, the region’s digital economy is on track to surpass US$300 billion by 20252 and its traditionally cash-based markets are expected to see digital payments triple to US$1.5 trillion by 2030.3

Singapore has become the hub for emerging technology firms buoyed by its established legal and regulatory frameworks, startup ecosystem backed by over 150 venture capital firm and proximity to the region.

Media enquiries:
Lucy Stewart | Lucy.stewart@hsbc.com.sg | +65 9658 3405

Note to Editors:

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited is the founding member of the HSBC Group. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 64 countries and territories in its geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa. With assets of $2,969bn at 30 September 2021, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

1 Nikkei Asia, Financial Times, https://carro.sg/about

2 https://www.bain.com/insights/e-conomy-sea-2020/

3 https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/asean-business/digital-payments-in-asean-to-triple-to-us15t-by-2030-report