Founded in 2018, banco (part of RABC Group) is a Digital Neobank platform that solves current industry challenges by providing better, faster, and cheaper financing solutions for SMEs and enterprises.

Together with its subsidiaries, the group is on the mission of building better financing solutions in Asia. 

It recently announced the successful raise of US$6.7M in Series A funding led by Japan-based leading financial group SBI Group, alongside investors Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), R3, Savills, KZM & Company, and others.

Join us for a Tete-a-Tete with its leadership team - Lincoln (CEO), Joshua (Director), and Timothy (Director) as they share their journey so far.

Interviewer: Congratulations on a successful raise! How has the journey been so far?

Lincoln: From winning MAS/SFA hackcelerator to new partnerships - it has been incredible indeed. The tempo for the future has definitely raised with this fresh round of funding. 

We are excited, yet humbled by the trust and support from our clients, partners, and investors as we develop new capabilities and unlock new opportunities in this financial transformation era.

Interviewer: What are major SME challenges and how can banco help businesses ease these?

Lincoln: In Southeast Asia, MSMEs contribute over 50% of ASEAN countries’ GDP. Yet, they are largely constricted when it comes to securing finances to cover their business expenses. Specifically, the rejection ratio of SME financing with banks is significantly high. 

Attributed to their lack of collateral assets and business track record, to top it all, an application process with banks can be very tedious. 

All of these challenges became profound in light of the recent pandemic. 

Moreover, as ASEAN is adapting to climate change, it is increasingly important to ensure that MSMEs are included and incentivized to become greener and sustainable. 

Support during such transformation is critical, as the region pivots towards a more sustainable path of development. 

Technology and new data-driven financial products will play an important role in improving the access to sustainable finance for MSMEs, I believe.

Joshua: Through its digital platform, banco will focus on offering green financing solutions for MSMEs and corporates in optimizing cash flow and improving sustainability in their entire value chain.

Interviewer: You have built a strong network of partners. Tell us more about how has it contributed to the overall mission's success.

Timothy: The banco platform leverages the digital capabilities of the RABC group’s expertise in Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) lending and close industry partnerships, to develop sector-focused and sustainable financial solutions for MSMEs.

Partnerships are crucial for us as it translates into growth - both in terms of new industry, geography as well as building a robust product

Our partnership collaborations with Japan-based SBI group, Linear Capital, and KZM Group, leading real estate advisor of Singapore, Savills, and enterprise technology provider, R3 have been key to our growth trajectory thus far.

Interviewer: Would you elaborate?

Timothy: Sure! I'll highlight details with reference to SBI Holdings, Tokyo, Japan.

We see many synergies from our partnership with SBI. We hope to leverage this strategic partnership to scale our growth. At the same time, unlocking new customer segments and improving financial product offerings to the market for both parties.

Strategic collaboration - Utilising our technological capabilities and SBI Group’s deep industry expertise to design sector-centric financial products to solve SME and green financing needs. 

Product expansion - Our partnership will allow us to tap into data previously not available, coupled with Big Data, to identify opportunities for designing better financial products. 

Overseas expansion - We are in the process of planning for overseas expansion. A few target markets include Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Japan is another key market for our expansion, and we are excited to be able to work with our strategic partners on offering our solutions in the future.

Lincoln: As for the partnership with Savills; The property management sector has a lot of potential to leverage technology. We are therefore delighted to be partnering with Savills, Singapore's largest private MCST Managing Agent, to ease many of the problems this industry faces in transforming their payments, banking, and financing processes, making them more accessible, more efficient, and future-proof businesses. All of this of course contributes heavily towards improving ESG." 

Interviewer: What is your value add for SMEs?

Joshua: The banco team has been working with our partners to create sector-focused solutions to better cater to the needs of the businesses. 

Being a non-traditional fintech provider, we can provide customized solutions using a tech-driven and cost-efficient approach, by understanding gaps in the current ways of business financing and solving its immediate problems with our expertise.

Also, sustainability is becoming more important for all companies, across all industries and we want to be at the forefront of it. We have more to share on this in the coming months, so stay tuned!

Interviewer: Thank you for sharing today. Wish you all, banco, and the RABC group the epitome of business success! 


About SBI Holdings

SBI Holdings is a publicly listed financial services conglomerate based in Tokyo, Japan. The company provides financial services in a wide range of categories, including securities, asset management, banking and insurance and has formed an Internet-based financial conglomerate. SBI Holdings is an investor in several start-ups in globe.

About Savills

Savills is a leading global real estate service provider listed on the London Stock Exchange. The company, established in 1855, has a rich heritage with unrivaled growth. It is a company that leads rather than follows and now has over 700 offices and associates throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East.

About R3

R3 is an enterprise software firm that is pioneering digital industry transformation. R3 delivers purpose-built blockchain technology for all types of businesses in all industries. Developed in collaboration with the R3 ecosystem, its enterprise blockchain platform Corda is transforming entire industries by digitalizing the processes and systems that firms rely on to connect and transact with each other. R3's blockchain ecosystem is the largest in the world with more than 350 institutions deploying and building on Corda and Corda Enterprise. 


About banco platform

Founded in 2018, Fintech banco (part of RABC Group), is a fintech company headquartered in Singapore with subsidiaries in China and Japan. Together with its subsidiaries, the group is on the mission of building better financing solutions in Asia. The banco platform solves current industry challenges by providing better, faster, and cheaper financing solutions. The company was the top winner of the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Global FinTech Hackcelerator in 2021.