This week Singaporean-Estonian entrepreneur Sonny Aswani became an equity investor in the Estonian start-up Investly, a P2P business lending and invoice factoring platform for SMEs, and will invest also directly in the projects offered via Investly.
“As proven by TransferWise and Bondora, Estonia has a high potential for fintech companies and Investly helps redesign the way the SMEs are financed. In my view, Investly has the potential to expand to the new markets through technical integration and innovation,” Aswani said.
“From its inception, Investly has been aiming international markets and the support of investors like Sonny Aswani helps us achieve the expansion goals. A number of strong small businesses is ready to consider alternative’s to bank funding, both in Estonia and other countries,” Siim Maivel, CEO of Investly, added.
In Aswani’s view, Investly’s portfolio offers a number of interesting investment opportunities. “Having seen how the platform operates, I recommend to consider Investly as a new tool for financing SMEs and getting return for that. The funds go directly to the economy and expected returns outperform many other financial instruments,” Aswani noted.
Investly was set up in 2014 in Tallinn. The firm’s investment process is conducted through a reverse auction process, whereby all investors are allowed to make bids on the investment. As a result, the final winning interest rate is determined and then the financing agreement is made. All investment opportunities offered have undergone a thorough pre-screening process, including business plan validation, financial analysis as well as credit evaluation.
Aswani’s association with Estonia goes a way back. Representing Singapore’s company Tolaram Group, he arrived in Estonia in 1994 and acquired an old run-down paper producing manufacturer in Kehra, near Tallinn, and turned it around, exporting to over 50 countries 20 years later. Aswani’s companies now provide employment to more than 500 people in Estonia and he has since become an Estonian citizen, as well as the Estonian honorary consul in Singapore.
Editor: S. Tambur