Daily Markup #253: Friz launches “first-of-its-kind” credit line for freelancers; Is Fave a Malaysian startup? Joel Neoh answers; Grab’s 2021 focus on marginalized communities in Indonesia

Credit: Friz

Fuss-free for freelancers

  • 500-backed fintech startup Friz has partnered with Funding Societies, a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform, to launch the Friz Credit Line for freelancer businesses in Singapore. According to the startup, this is a first-of-its-kind partnership.
  • How so? As freelancers typically do not have a single source of income, conventional methods of determining a freelancer’s credit worthiness are not reliable.
  • In comes Friz’s new service offering — lending to freelancers based on employment and invoice data. The startup also hopes to lay the foundation of lending for the future of work.
  • Friz promises “no hassle with complicated terms and interest rates [and] no more tedious waiting times to access credit”. For a small fee, freelancers can also enjoy longer periods of credit.
  • Read the full announcement on Friz here.
Credit: Leaderonomics / YouTube

Startup stories

  • Co-founders of 500-backed fintech startup Fave, Joel Neoh and Chen Chow Yeoh, appeared on leadership development firm Leaderonomic’s tech show. They spoke of their startup journey and Fave’s recent US$45 million acquisition by Pine Labs.
  • Joel shared that while the conventional notion is for a founder to own a majority of shares of their own company, he believes that a company is a “vehicle for investors and the management to realize a vision”. To him, it is not about ownership, but it is about multiplying social impact in an ecosystem.
  • Earlier, he added that he sees Fave as a Southeast Asian startup with Malaysian beginnings.
  • Watch the full interview here.
Credit: The Jakarta Post

Leaving no one behind

  • In an interview with The Jakarta Post, Indonesia country managing director Neneng Goenadi of 500-backed Grab said vulnerable communities such as the differently-abled individuals, the elderly, and traditional sellers were at risk of being left behind in the pandemic rush to digitalization.
  • That’s why for 2021, the startup is focusing their efforts on these communities, building on some of the work that started even in 2019.
  • One of Grab’s initiatives includes the ‘Grab #TerusUsaha Akselerator”, a two-month training and incubation program that focuses on increasing the capacity of MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) including financial literacy, social media management, and more.
  • For differently-abled driver-partners, Grab has features in its app to inform passengers that their drivers are deaf, and provides tips for how to communicate with them — such as using the text function instead of making audio calls, or using nonverbal gestures during the ride.
  • Read the full feature story on The Jakarta Post here.

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500 Startups is a venture capital firm on a mission to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems. In Southeast Asia, 500 Startups invests through the pioneering 500 Southeast Asia family of funds. The 500 Southeast Asia funds have backed over 240 companies across multiple sectors from internet to consumer to deep technology. It continues to connect founders with capital, expertise and powerful regional and global networks to help them succeed.

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