Business financing platform Beehive is expanding across Asia through a new banking partnership.
The company announced on Saturday (Feb. 9) that it has struck a partnership with Thailand-based Thanachart Bank to launch a small business (SMB) supply chain financing program across Asia. The collaboration — Beehive’s first partnership with a traditional financial institution (FI) — also marks Thanachart’s first FinTech tie-up that addresses business finance.
“It is our strategic direction to enhance our digital technology capability, to deliver a better customer experience,” said Thanachart Bank EVP of Retail and Small Business Banking Anuwat Luengtawekul in a statement. “The new Value Chain Financing Program will digitize the traditional supply chain process and revolutionize [SMB] access to finance.”
Beehive Asia said it will work with the bank to connect small businesses with invoice finance and other financial tools, by linking up with larger and medium-sized businesses that want to provide financing options to their own small suppliers. Luengtawekul noted that the financing tool can be used by companies that are not currently customers of Thanachart Bank.
“This partnership marks an exciting step in our Asian expansion plans, and is a great example of banking and FinTech collaboration,” said Beehive Founder and CEO Craig Moore in another statement.
Beehive first launched in 2015 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to link SMBs to its marketplace lending solution. At the time, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region experienced a small business financing gap of $260 billion, presenting a significant opportunity for FinTech firms like Beehive.
The trade finance gap across Asia is also a key opportunity for the firm. Last year, the Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association began advocating for enhanced Know Your Customer (KYC) checks by urging regulators to welcome FinTech to support compliance efforts.