Fiserv and LG back Korea’s Credit Data as SME-focused fintech startup raises another $24.7M • TechCrunch

In South Korea, there are approximately 7.3 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) — defined as businesses with fewer than 250 employees. Their workforce together makes up 83.1% of all corporate workers in the country, totaling about 17.1 million people, according to OECD data.

To help meet the financial needs of SMEs in the country, Seoul-based fintech startup Korea Credit Data (KCD) said Thursday it has raised $24.7 million in Series D expansion funding.

Strategic investors — Fiserv, a Nasdaq-listed fintech company, and LG Uplus, a telecom unit of LG Corporation — participated in the expansion round. In total, KCD has raised about $70 million in its Series D round and about $112 million since its inception in 2016, said KCD CEO Kelvin Dongho Kim.

The latest funding values ​​the company at around $776 million (1.1 trillion KRW). KCD was valued at around $563 million in November last year when it raised $28.1 million in its Series D1.

The startup wants to address the pain points of small merchants by providing digital financial services, Kim told TechCrunch. In 2017, KCD launched its accounting app for SMEs, called Cash Note, which helps small and medium business owners track a comprehensive overview of cash flow, including revenue, credit card sales and expenses. The app also provides services such as SME sales books and policy information. It allows small business owners to connect with other entrepreneurs in their communities looking to scale their businesses.

Most small and medium-sized business owners with poor credit records often struggle to secure working capital loans and survive tight cash flows, according to Kim. So the startup added SME-focused lending services to its platform, connecting SME entrepreneurs to access capital loan programs, Kim said.

KCD claims to have more than 1.7 million registered merchants in South Korea and its app has grown into a super app among small and medium business owners.

KCD acquired South Korean startups including ImU, a POS (point of sale) service provider, and Persona, a government-affiliated notification service for SMEs. The company plans to use its new capital to expand its 230-person team and make additional acquisitions.

Its previous backers include KB Kookmin Bank, KB Securities, GS Holdings, KT Investment, Pavilion Capital, Shinhan Card, Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, Kakao and Kclavis.

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