Best SME Credit Lines for Startups: Aspire Credit Limit
Aspire's Credit Limit is a great option for startups and other SMEs that seek a flexible financing option. This online lender allows businesses to borrow their desired amount and charges rates from 1-3.9% per month only on the amount borrowed. Furthermore, it offers discounts of up to 100% on outstanding interest for early repayment. Aspire has also less strict eligibility requirements compared to other lenders, making it great for startups. With that said, its borrowing limit of S$150,000 is slightly lower than that of OCBC's.
- Interest rates from 1-3.9% per month
- Significant discounts for early repayment
- No monthly fees
- Limited financial & operational requirements
Fastest Online SME Loan: FS Bolt
Funding Societies' FS Bolt is the only loan available to Singaporean SMEs that offers access to cash nearly immediately. This loan is a great fit for brand new SMEs that need a quick loan and expect to be able to pay it off before incurring large interest charges. FS Bolt gives eligible borrowers access to up to S$100,000 within one business day. The quick application, which does not feature operational history or financial requirements, relieves SMEs of complex paperwork and gives them more time to focus on growing their business. Additionally, FS Bolt doesn't require collateral or charge a fee for early repayment. One downside of FS Bolt is that it charges a 3.5-5% service charge.
- No application fee, 2 minute application, 2 hours to receive decision
- Receive cash within 24 hours
- No early repayment fee
- No collateral required
- No operational/financial history required
- Strong lending track record: more than S$1.25 billion funded
Best Invoice Financing for Small Businesses in Singapore
Invoice financing is a helpful way for businesses to get paid in advance based on the value of their invoices. Depending on the lender, invoice financing is offered as a loan (i.e. with an interest rate) or with a fee-based system (i.e. flat rate fee per invoice transaction). The two options below represent the best invoice financing available to SMEs in Singapore.
Best Fee-Based Invoice Financing: Aspire Get Paid
Aspire's Get Paid invoice financing is a great option for businesses seeking a quick and inexpensive option for receiving funds based on their invoices. Aspire charges SMEs a fee of 2.9% based on the invoice transaction amount, and then disburses funds within 24 hours. Clients of the SME have 60 days to repay Aspire without any interest. This type of funding is a great fit for those that want to simplify and accelerate their invoice financing.
- Maximum principal: Up to S$150,000
- Transaction fee: 2.9%
- No application fee
- Receive funding within 24 hours
Best Invoice Financing Loan: Funding Societies
Among online lenders, Funding Societies offers the best invoice financing loan that we reviewed. Invoice financing allows companies waiting on payments from customers to borrow money against invoices from these payments. SMEs with large accounts receivable might consider a short term loan in the form of invoice financing. Funding Societies offers the largest invoice financing loans (up to S$1,000,000) with competitive interest rates range from 0.8 to 1.2% monthly. As one of the biggest online P2P crowdfunding platforms in Singapore, Funding Societies generally makes funds available within 1 to 2 days upon approval, which is faster than many other options (30+ days). Funding Societies has recently launched a new version of its Invoice Financing product, which accounts for the receivables’ aging history to provide extended payment terms on top of their invoice days. Interest is prorated, which means that SMEs that repay their loans early will save on interest costs for remaining invoice duration. Finally, the application is free, unlike other crowdfunding platforms that tend to charge around S$1,000 annually.
- Maximum principal: Up to 80% of invoice value or S$1 million
- Origination Fee: 1.5-3.5%
- No Early Repayment Fee
- Funding available in 1 to 7 business days
Best Online P2P/Crowdfunded Business Loans
The crowdfunding lenders below offer similar loan durations, charge similar rates and feature similar business requirements. That being said, depending on the specific characteristics of your SME, one platform might make more sense than the others.
Most Competitive Interest Rates: Validus Capital Business Loan
Validus Capital is a great option for small businesses that seek a crowdfunded SME loan as it is able to leverage its institutional investor base in order to provide very competitive interest rates (starting at around 0.7% per month or 8.7% p.a.). Additionally, the platform rewards borrowers with strong loan repayment histories by offering these businesses preferred interest rates on their subsequent loans. These preferred rates tend to be 0.25% - 0.5% lower on a monthly basis (about 3% - 6% lower p.a.) than their normal rates. Validus also offers a variety of financing options, including invoice financing, purchase order loans and working capital loans. Additionally, the platform offers competitive cash disbursement, with 90% of approved businesses receiving funding within 48 hours, as well as a lower cash disbursal fee (1% to 2.5%) compared to other platforms.
However, Validus is not the best option for businesses with less than one year of operating history or businesses that require more than S$2,000,000. Its financing is also limited to 1 to 12 month terms, making it less appealing to businesses that seek long-term loans.
- Competitive interest rates and lower rates for borrowers with strong repayment history with Validus
- Receive cash within 3 business days
- 2 years of business operation required
Best Crowdfunding Lender: Funding Societies Business Term Loan
Funding Societies has the best performance track record of any crowdfunding platform in Singapore, with business loans totaling more than S$1.5 billion and the lowest default rate (1%). It also offers the quickest cash disbursement upon loan approval (1 - 2 business days). Also, unlike the other lenders, Funding Societies does not charge an application fee for business loan applicants, though it does charge an origination fee of 1-5%.
- Principal of up to S$1.5 million (unsecured) - S$3 million (secured)
- Funding available as soon as 4 to 5 business days
- S$300,000 revenue & 1 year operating history required
Best Large Business Loans for New Companies: Minterest SME Loan
Minterest is a great lender for startups and other relatively new businesses, due to its unique case-by-case eligibility assessments. It also charges competitive interest rates (8-18%) and offers flexible funding amounts, with loans as small as S$10,000 and as large as S$3 million. Minterest specializes in short-term financing (up to 1 year), making it a better fit for firms seeking loans with shorter tenures than those seeking long-term loans.
- Competitive Interest Rates: 8-18% p.a.
- No operational history required
- Loans amounts from S$10,000 - S$3 million
- Raised more than S$80 million raised in total
Largest Loan Amounts: MoolahSense SME Loan
MoolahSense offers the largest business loans, up to S$5 million+, of any crowdfunding platform in Singapore. Additionally, MoolahSense offers cash disbursement within 3 business days. It is also unique in that it offers both secured and unsecured business loans. MoolahSense does not have the same track record as Funding Societies, but it has loaned over S$50 million in more than 400 loans with a respectable default rate of 3.48%. It also charges an application fee of S$500 to S$750 and a success fee (4%) that is comparable to its competitors' fees of 3% to 5%.
- SME loans as large as S$5 million+
- Receive cash within 3 business days
- S$300,000 revenue & 1 year operating history required
Long-Term Crowdfunded Business Loans: CoAssets
CoAssets stands out because it offers the longest loan tenures (3 months - 3 years) of any crowdfunding platform in Singapore. Additionally, it allows SMEs to "upsize" their loans if their crowdfunding campaign receives more contributions than its original goal. While it doesn't offer the fastest cash disbursement (45 days) or largest loan size (S$3 million), its business loans give businesses greater flexibility given their longer durations. Finally, CoAssets charges similar service fee compared to its competitors of 3% to 5%.
- SME loans with durations of 3 - 36 months
- Loans as large as S$3 million
- Receive cash within 45 business days
Best Crowdfunding Asset Purchase Loan: KapitalBoost
KapitalBoost is unique in that it allows small or early stage companies to borrow up to S$150,000 through its short-term, crowdsourced asset purchase financing platform. KapitalBoost claims to offer a better approval rate and less paperwork compared to traditional banks.
KapitalBoost does not charge a fee for early repayment. However, the platform charges borrowers a 3 - 4% administrative fee, which is the industry standard.
- Receive cash within 30 days
- Plan with fixed monthly repayment schedule
- Administrative Fee: 3 - 4%
Best Traditional Business Loans
In general, banks are more selective in loaning SMEs funds, in comparison to P2P platforms. This allows them to charge more competitive interest rates. According to our research and analysis, DBS and OCBC stand out among the top traditional small business lenders in Singapore.
Best Business Term Loan: DBS SME Loan
DBS stands out as the largest bank in Singapore and a great small business lender. The bank advertises attractive business loans with competitive interest rates (from 10.88%), maximum loan sizes (up to S$500,000) and durations (up to 5 years). It is difficult to make specific comparisons between these loan offerings without understanding each business's circumstances; however, DBS's small business term loans appear to be the best available in Singapore.
|DBS Business Term Loan||OCBC||UOB Business Bundle Loan||Standard Chartered||Citi|
|Annual Interest Rate||10.88%||Unknown||10.88%||up to 11%||Unknown|
|Maximum Duration||5 years||5 years||5 years||5 years||3 years|
|Business Requirement||Unknown||2 years||3 years||3 years||3 years|
Best Business Property Loan: DBS Business Property Loan
The DBS Business Property Loan is the best available commercial property loan. Property loans give borrowers the opportunity to receive loans based on the value of their property. SMEs may use their commercial property as a means for obtaining a loan to meet their need for funds. DBS allows businesses to obtain financing for up to 120% of their commercial property valuation. This is significantly higher than OCBC and UOB, which allow for financing up to 80%. Additionally, online applications and approval for the DBS Business Property Loan are faster than other banks - the process takes less than one business day.
- Financing up to 120% of property valuation
- Application approval within 1 business day
Best Traditional Bank Asset Purchase Loan: DBS Local Enterprise Finance Scheme
DBS's Local Enterprise Finance Scheme, which is administered by Enterprise Singapore, allows businesses to borrow up to S$15 million over 4 to 7 years. Given this, these loans are typically available for SMEs that have built a relatively sizable scale and operational history. Typically, banks offer lower interest rates than P2P but are more selective in the application process. Additionally, DBS does not charge a success fee, unlike KapitalBoost and other P2P platforms. Payments are made on a fixed monthly schedule.
To be eligible, SMEs must be incorporated in Singapore with at least 30% local shareholding. Additionally, the company's group must have annual sales of S$100 million or less, or employee fewer than 200 employees. Meeting the requirements of this government backed financing program does not guarantee application acceptance. Typically, traditional banks, like DBS, are more selective than P2P/Crowdfunding platforms.
- Loans up to S$15 million
- No success fee (unlike many P2P platforms)
- Plan with fixed monthly repayment schedule
Best Line of Credit for Established Businesses: OCBC Business Revolving Short Term Loan
For SMEs with an operating history of over 2 years, OCBC's Revolving Short Term Loan is a great product for SMEs seeking flexible, short-term financing. Revolving credit allows businesses to draw up to an agreed amount anytime without a new application process to meet short-term cash needs, paying interest only on the loan amount outstanding at any given time. For SMEs with an operational history of at least two years, OCBC provides a loan of up to S$200,000 for 6 or 12 months. Compared to other types of loans, revolving credit facilities allow borrowers to save on interest payments for unused loaned funds. Also, revolving short term loans do not charge an early repayment fee for the loan, nor do they require collateral.
- No collateral required
- No early repayment fee
Best Equity Financing
Equity financing consists of a business selling shares of its ownership to investors in order to meet financing needs. SMEs might decide to sell shares of equity if they don't have a sufficient operating history and don't qualify for loans from banks or if the interest payments of a loan are cost prohibitive.
Small, Early Stage Equity: FundedHere
FundedHere allows small, early stage companies to sell their equity to raise funds up to S$1 million in as few as 35 days. The platform facilitates meetings for SMEs and the investor community. Unlike some platforms, FundedHere allows SMEs receiving more than their fundraising goal to choose to "upsize" their campaign and accept extra funding. Additionally, SMEs fundraising through FundedHere are given free access to advice from experts and investors. The platform charges fees of 6% of in terms of cash and 2% in terms of equity.
- Funding quicker than banks and other crowdfunding platforms: as soon as 35 days
- Option to upsize if campaign receives more than 100% funding
- Facilitated meetings with investor community
- Fees: 6% (in terms of cash) + 2% (in terms of equity)
Early to Late Stage Equity: Fundnel
Fundnel is a great option for SMEs considering large equity-based financing deals. The crowdfunding platform allows SMEs to raise money, via convertible bonds, bond/debt structure, revenue sharing, or equity. The platform has an impressive track record, having completed deals as large as $20 million (USD) and totalling more than $1.8 million (USD). Given these deal sizes, Fundnel tends to have a very selective screening process for companies seeking funding: only 10% of applicant companies are given the opportunity to use Fundnel and only 3% of applicants eventually receive funding.
Fundnel charges a smaller fee (5%) than FundedHere and also allows SMEs to "upsize" their equity financing if they receive more than their fundraising goal.
- Lower success fee (5%) than FundedHere
- More than S$2.5 billion raised
- Selective screening process
- Upsize available
- Large investor network: 7,000+ investors
- Funding available for Singaporean and International companies
Singapore's government has committed S$2 billion for loans specifically designed for SMEs. These loans are offered by financial institutions with the government accepting 50% of the default risk. For these loans, the government sets the eligibility requirements and the banks set the interest rates.
Enterprise Singapore offers micro loans, working capital loans, equipment and factory loans, venture loans, loan insurance schemes, and bridging loan for marine and offshore engineering companies. Only companies registered in Singapore with 30% local shareholding are eligible. Additionally, most of these are typically designed for relatively sizable SMEs since most loans require that applicants have Group annual sales of S$100m or less or group employment size of 200 or fewer.
Companies with 10 or fewer employees or sales of less than S$1 million are eligible for SME Micro Loans. These loans, of up to S$100,000, are designed to fund daily operations and equipment upgrades for growing SMEs. To encourage lending to new SMEs, Enterprise Singapore takes on a greater risk share for companies younger than three years old.
The SME Working Capital Loan allows companies to access loans of up to S$300,000 in unsecured working capital over up to 5 years. These loans are designed to give SMEs cash for daily operations.
The SME Equipment and Factory Loans allow SMEs to borrow up to S$15 million for upgrading factory and equipment or purchasing JTC Corporation or Housing & Development Board factory and business premises. Equipment loans may last up to 8 years and Factory Loans may last as long as 10 years.
SME Venture Loans are specifically designed for innovative, high growth companies with the intent of expansion. Loan amounts are capped at S$5 million.
Here's a summary table of all of the SME loans featured here.
|DBS - Business Term Loan|
|KapitalBoost Asset Purchase Financing|
|OCBC - Business Revolving Short Term Loan|
|DBS - Business Property Loan|
|DBS - Local Enterprise Finance Scheme|
How to Compare SME Loans
The first step in comparing SME loans is choosing the loan that matches your business's needs. For example, many SMEs require short-term financing to meet their short-term obligations or make a one-time purchase. Others require large amounts of financing to expand their business or to purchase an expensive asset, such as equipment or real estate. Once you are able to decide on the type of loan that you need, based on the purpose of the funding, you will need to compare interest rates and fees of lenders. Ultimately, it is most important to choose the loan with the lowest total cost to your business. If you are are seeking crowdfunding platforms as an investor, see our Best P2P Crowdfunding Platforms for Investors page.
We conducted our review based on information available online. We reviewed financial products from the following companies below. We gathered loan data that would be most relevant to potential borrowers: costs (fees, interest rates), requirements (collateral, revenue, assets) and other details (duration, disbursement, loan type).
|New Union||Fundedhere||Capital Match||Crowdo||Investacrowd|
|KapitalBoost||Fundnel||DBS||Ethoz Capital Ltd||Hong Leong Finance Ltd|
|IFS Capital Ltd||Malayan Banking Berhad||Minterest||ORIX Leasing Singapore Ltd||OCBC|
|RHB Bank Berhad||UOB||Sing Investments & Finance Ltd||Singapura Finance Ltd||Validus Capital|