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Our Story

Our Mission

To expand business opportunity by empowering SMEs in growth markets
with financial services.

Our Vision

To create a meritocracy for SME financial services in Southeast Asia growth markets.

Why We Exist

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) exist in a pre-internet economic ecosystem. This is true for their interaction with trading partners and financial institutions. Both require enormous manual administration and have unpredictable outcomes. This inhibits their growth and development which have a great opportunity as the economy expands.

At First Circle, we believe that strong businesses should have access to financial services based on their merit and not limited to their collateral or relationships. We believe that businesses deserve honesty, transparency, and convenience. We believe this is best served through a mobile- or web-only experience with dedicated relationship managers to care for our clients every step of the way.

Small businesses are the life-blood of the economy. With the right resources and support, they can drive the nation’s development and improve the livelihoods of millions of people.

This culture of supporting our customer’s growth is at the heart of everything we do. This is what gets us excited about coming to work every day.

Who We Are

First Circle is a Philippine-based financial technology lender that provides strong businesses with supply chain financing to meet larger client demands and improve bargaining position with trading partners. Since our public launch in 2016, we have loaned millions of dollars and served thousands of SMEs from various industries, enabling them to grow their business without worrying about lack of working capital.

The startup is led by a team with experience in technology, financial services, and e-commerce. We are proud of our international culture with over 10 nationalities working together, each motivated by the company’s purpose. Our investors have previously supported world-leading technology companies, like Uber and PayPal, and our advisors sit on the Board of the biggest fintech companies in the world.

Supported by the Philippine government, we are the official finance partner of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). We are also a pioneer data provider to the Credit Information Corporation (CIC) and the first fintech company to be licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the Philippines.

Our Supporters

We are supported by local and international advisors.

“First Circle is something that will really make a big difference to help SMEs in the Philippines.”
Ramon Lopez

Secretary

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)

“SMEs should only borrow from registered lenders, like First Circle. They ensure welfare of borrowers by being compliant to the Truth in Lending Act.”
Teresita Herbosa

Chairperson

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

“First Circle is new and worth looking at because it can address the issue of small businesses who cannot get finance from banks.”
Sergio Luis Ortiz

President

Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PhilExport)

“First Circle has one of the strongest and hardest working teams in Southeast Asia, addressing a very large market across the region.”
Farouk Meralli

CEO

mClinica

“I have seen many business models and First Circle has adopted an award winning approach to attract a large customer base with potential across Southeast Asia.”
Phillip Riese

Former Chairman

Zopa

“First Circle is a startup that helps SMEs better understand the risks of lending and will also want to be with them in helping them grow their business.”
RJ Ledesma

Co-Founder

Mercato Centrale