Funding Societies shares top trends for Thai SMEs Financing in 2023

Funding Societies shares top trends for Thai SMEs Financing in 2023

Digital lender highlights trends that will shape Thai SMEs during 2023, offering opportunity for Thai businesses and savvy investors alike

Bangkok, Thailand, 16 February 2023 – Funding Societies, Southeast Asia’s largest digital financing platform for Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs), is releasing its top trends for 2023 that are poised to offer strong new potential opportunities for Thailand’s SMEs.

This comes after SMEs started to show positive signs of recovery from early 2022. According to The Office of SMEs Promotion (OSMEP), during the first 9 months of 2022 (January – September) revenue from Thai SMEs totaled THB 4.54 trillion, which represented 35.2 percent of Thailand’s total GDP, up 5.1 percent over the prior year. In addition, Thailand’s economy is forecasted to resist the looming global slowdown and grow its GDP at 3.6% in 2023.

Since Funding Societies was founded in 2015, the Fintech SMEs lender has disbursed over THB 98 billion. The key learnings in Southeast Asia and especially in Thailand include prospects to diversify funding for SMEs and investors alike, identifying several key trends driving change through 2023:

  • There is an interesting generational shift occurring in how SMEs are perceived in Thailand, which in the past have traditionally been passed down from parents to offspring across the industries;
    • As millennials and Generation Z ascend to leadership positions and take over from their parents in the near future, they will have a different view in utilizing debt to fuel company’s growth.
    • The new generation are more aware of funding options as well as benefits of debt as leverage, younger generations no longer believe it is a taboo to take out a loan to grow their business.
    • Debt crowdfunding allows eligible SMEs to raise debt directly from investors who are seeking stable returns, The instrument is a new source of capital for SMEs, offering an alternative to equity dilution, and allowing shareholders to retain ownership of their company. For investors, crowdfunding provides an investment diversification opportunity while they can also contribute to nation building by supporting local businesses.
  • While the anticipated economic headwinds and global downturn could lead to a bigger gap in funding for SMEs, this also presents opportunity for digital financing platforms like Funding Societies to scale up and reach more underserved SMEs;
  • Banked and underbanked SMEs of all vintages and sizes – from startups to private and government contractors, to emerging industries and manufacturing – have benefited and will continue to benefit from debt crowdfunding;
  • The Thai Ministry of Commerce also identified three SMEs business groups with positive outlook in this year: lifestyle-related businesses, travel and MICE (Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) related business, and those focused on the environment and sustainability. SMEs from these business groups could benefit most from Funding Societies’ collateral-free, fast-approval financing model.

Disruptive technologies continue to alter the way consumers, industries, and businesses operate globally. Digitally driven alternatives such as Funding Societies, have radically reshaped conventional wisdom and traditional ways that business relationships are conducted, replacing them with modern, quick and smart innovations. Funding Societies is helping Thai SMEs leverage emerging trends in 2023 through its debt crowdfunding platform which connects businesses seeking financing directly with investors looking for fixed income returns. Funding Societies is amongst the first ‘FinTech’ companies awarded a debt crowdfunding license from Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Chatchakorn Pruksananont, Head of Commercial, said “Funding Societies understands the significant role we can play in assisting Thai SMEs in 2023. SMEs are the lifeblood of the Thai economy. According to OSMEP, they represent 99.57% of the total number of enterprises in Thailand and employ over 12.6 million people, which makes a significant contribution to the country’s total GDP.[1]

“SMEs will face a tougher financing environment, as interest rates rise and traditional financial institutions tighten financing criteria. Funding Societies provides an attractive alternative for Thai SMEs to raise capital to fuel growth and shore up working capital. We leverage technology and alternative data points as part of our underwriting model to enable fast and flexible business financing. Funding Societies offers various financing solutions which have been tailor-made to the diverse segments of SMEs, including but not limited to project contractors, manufacturers or traders.”

“In addition, debt crowdfunding has community value not found elsewhere. It provides the investor community with the opportunity to directly support Thai SMEs, while also contributing to their investment diversification. Performance of debt crowdfunding assets is less correlated with major asset classes such as stocks or bond funds, which are subjected to day to day volatility. Through crowdfunding, Investors can receive up to 15% per annum in returns on a short 1 to 12 months investment with monthly repayments, while supporting local SMEs they may already be familiar with. That’s a win-win situation.” Mr. Pruksananont said.

This enables them to choose SMEs they want to fund and invest with a shorter time horizon. In November 2022, Funding Societies announced its achievement in exceeding THB 1 billion in loan disbursements to businesses in Thailand for 2022, and has since further expanded its reach to financing SMEs in new business segments.

For Thai SMEs interested in accessing capital supported for your community, click here to get started. For Thai investors interested in supporting Thai SMEs, click here to start investing.

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About Funding Societies

Funding Societies (registered as FS Siam Co., Ltd. in Thailand) is the largest SMEs digital financing platform in Southeast Asia. In Thailand, it launched on February 9, 2021 and was amongst the first FinTech companies to be awarded the debt crowdfunding license by Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission.

It operates across multiple countries including Singapore, Indonesia (where it is known as Modalku), Malaysia and Vietnam. The FinTech company provides business financing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with a track record of having given out more than THB 97.23 billion (annualising at THB 36.88 billion) in funding. Its recent strategic milestones include its acquisition of regional digital payments platform CardUp (subject to regulatory approval) and investment into Bank Index in Indonesia.

Funding Societies is backed by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, SoftBank Ventures Asia, Sequoia Capital India, Alpha JWC Ventures, SMBC Bank, BRI Ventures, VNG Corporation, Rapyd Ventures, Endeavor, EBDI, SGInnovative, Qualgo, and Golden Gate Ventures among others. It was given the MAS FinTech Award in 2016, the Global SME Excellence Award at the United Nations’ ITU Telecom World in 2017, KPMG Fintech100 in 2018, Brands for Good in 2019, and ASEAN Startup of the Year by Global Startup Awards in 2020. In 2021, it won the MAS Fintech Award for the second time, and received the Platinum award for Responsible Digital Innovator of the Year at the 2022 Global SME Finance Award organised by IFC (under the World Bank Group).

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TQPR Thailand Funding Societies

Maetavarin Maneekulpan                  Panjapol Ditspadung

TQPR Thailand Assistant PR and Marketing Manager, Thailand

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