Goldbell’s Polaris Launchpad Helps SMEs Ride the New Norm by Co-Designing New Revenue Streams

Singapore – Taken aback by the sudden pandemic and the possibility of living with a new reality, businesses have taken to developing new partnerships and integrating more technology in their business models. Homegrown brands like Goldbell have likewise quickly assessed market gaps to spot where larger, more established companies like them can help Singapore businesses weather the disruption in the economy. With the launch of Polaris, Goldbells’ latest initiative under their financing arm, Goldbell Financial Services (GBFS), Goldbell aims to help SMEs achieve sustainable means of financing through innovation in debt structure and technology.

Polaris Main Tenets
Polaris, a launchpad for businesses to work with Goldbell to co-create new revenue streams, centres around three main tenets to help SMEs in their business growth and acceleration: customised financing solutions, an innovation lab and the Goldbell network.

Every SME which comes aboard Polaris will work with Goldbell’s business and financing teams to construct scalable and growth-focused debt structures to fuel their business. This may include tapping on Goldbell’s GEN (Goldbell Evolution Network) investor network or designing a new digital financing product for the company to add value to their customers and gain additional revenue streams. The innovation lab comes into play to help these SMEs launch and manage their new financing products by tapping on digitisation processes to bulk manage operational flows through the creation of technology enablers, such as automated KYC (Know Your Customer), AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and CDD (Customer Due Diligence) plugins, credit designing engines, integration APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and data visualisation tools. At the last stage, Polaris gives SMEs the access to Goldbell’s investor and accelerator networks to further extend the reach for their business’s new revenue streams.

Helping Businesses Scale the Pandemic
To date, Polaris has helped Oddle, an online food ordering platform, and Rely, a buy-now-pay later business model, to quickly scale their business amidst the crisis. Oddle worked with Polaris to co-design a Merchant Cash Advance (MCA) Programme that allows Oddle’s merchant partners to gain quick access to capital within 48 hours. Alan Goh, Chief Revenue Manager and Co-Founder of Oddle, said, “Cashflow is a key concern in every business, especially in the F&B industry. As our mission is to empower restauranteurs, we have built an ordering system that enables restaurants to manage their orders in a financially sustainable manner. To further that vision, we are delighted to be working with Polaris to launch the Oddle X GBFS Merchant Cash Advance programme to benefit our merchant by adding a new value added product.”

For Rely, Polaris stepped in to help them devise a joint venture funding structure which tapped on Goldbell’s fund raising forte and pipeline of funds, to allow the founders of Rely to focus on growing their customer base through partners. “A strong financing partner is a critical component of our growth strategy to become the leading “buy now pay later” platform in the region. The liquidity provided by Polaris underpins Rely’s capacity to grow its offering to consumers, aggressively scale its transaction volume and support the largest retail brands in the region.” said Hizam Ismail, CEO of Rely. Case studies of Rely and Oddle in Annex A.

The Origin of the Polaris Initiative
Goldbell has always been passionate about helping Singapore SMEs to grow and scale. Says Alex Chua, CEO of Goldbell Financial Services, “The Polaris initiative sparked from an honest conversation with one of our clients as we heard their cry for sustainable financing to accelerate their growth. Every project on the Polaris initiative requires a substantial commitment in time and energy to combine our lending experience, extensive investor network and the Goldbell ecosystem with four decades of knowledge to tailor a solution for each SME’s business model. It is our passion for helping like-minded and promising businesses grow exponentially that makes us go the extra mile to mull over and design unique financing systems for Singapore businesses that stretch our limits and keep us going.”

About Polaris
Polaris is a launchpad for businesses aspiring to accelerate their growth. We offer our partners the opportunity to enhance their value by co-creating financial solutions that leads to additional revenue streams and financial sustainability.
The Polaris network links a community of partners, funding sources and industry experts for collaborations, funding and business opportunities, giving businesses an extra edge.
Previously an SME ourselves, we understand the needs and challenges other SMEs face, and we are here to navigate with them towards their vision of growth.

About Goldbell Evolution Network (GEN)
GEN operates a private investment platform that offers investors the opportunity to boost their income, diversify their portfolios, and play a role in the growth stories of local companies by connecting them with a diversified pool of creditworthy Singapore companies seeking funding. For more information, visit

About Goldbell Financial Services
In a space where personalised financing solutions can make a difference in making or breaking a business model, rigid structures are limiting banks from providing the flexibility that companies need, especially for small and medium enterprises. Goldbell Financial Services dedicates itself to providing clients with new and innovative financial solutions.

It is the preferred financing partner in supporting automotive, asset-backed and working capital loans, and it has built success stories within a relatively short timeframe of four years. Goldbell Financial Services has amassed a strong portfolio of clients from varied sectors such as warehousing and logistics, F&B, manufacturing, courier service, servicing, construction, start-ups and more. More than S$550 million has been funded cumulatively (as at 30 Aug 2019), empowering small business owners with capability-enhancing financial support to help businesses survive and thrive in today’s competitive economic landscape.

Currently available in Singapore and Malaysia, plans are also underway to offer Goldbell Financial Services in other markets, such as Cambodia.

About Goldbell Group
Goldbell Group is Singapore’s largest player in leasing and distribution of commercial and industrial vehicles. Literally a driving force behind Singapore’s growing economy, Goldbell has been providing industry-wide transport and logistic solutions – passenger and commercial vehicles, as well as material handling equipment – for nearly four decades. The company’s diversified business portfolio operates under three main business pillars: Distribution, Leasing, and Financial Services, which deliver a suite of total business solutions (vehicle and equipment sales, leasing, financing, aftersales service, spare parts, insurance, and equipment usage training, as well as fleet management services).

Understanding the importance of innovating its core business through tech and the need to venture into new capabilities to future proof its business, Goldbell Group set up a Future Mobility division with the vision to be a leading player in the future mobility landscape for smart cities. Tapping the Group’s domain knowledge, it assesses and deploys innovative and functional technologies that complement and advances its core business. Looking beyond its existing ecosystem, it also invests in disruptive start-ups through an evergreen corporate venture capital fund, operates an accelerator to groom promising start-ups with the help of a network of strong corporate partners in the region and establish new businesses such as a shared mobility technology company and an autonomous warehousing solutions company.

Goldbell Group is one of the high-growth local companies identified by Enterprise Singapore to be part of the Scale Up SG programme.
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Annex A

Case Studies
1. Rely

Rely is an online shopping platform that allows participating retailers to offer customers the ability to split their purchase into interest-free payments. Customers who shop via Rely can enjoy the benefit of ‘buy now pay later’ scheme which is approved instantly, without the implications of compound interest and hidden fees.

All they need to do is to select Rely instalment payment during their checkout, which will then automatically split the payment into instalments without additional interest. Rely utilises algorithm to determine customer’s spending capacity and ability to repay on time.

Rely has benefited from Polaris’ support in devising a joint venture funding structure, which tapped on Goldbell’s fund raising forte and pipeline of funds. This has enabled the founders of Rely to focus on growing their customer base through partners such as Qoo10, Secretlab, SK Jewellery and many more, and to maximise the scalability of their business.

With a single integration, retailers of all sizes can integrate the offering to increase average order values and drive sales without any risk. Goldbell’s processes and backing also ensure that Rely will continue to have access to sustained funding sources.

2. Oddle

Oddle is a homegrown company and Asia’s leading cloud-based, F&B driven e-commerce and order management solution. It is backed by SPH Ventures and Wavemaker Partners, both renowned early-growth venture capital investors.

Oddle allows restaurant owners to develop and implement effective O2O (Offline to Online) strategies to drive business growth by enhancing customer experience and improving retention and repurchase rates. This is made possible through its all-in-one online ordering system that encompasses branded shopping cart, order management, analytics and marketing, as well as payments and logistics integration.

With an integrated and cost-effective system, Oddle enables more than 3,000 restaurant owners to manage and engage with their customers professionally.

Oddle has partnered with Polaris to co-design a Merchant Cash Advance (MCA) Programme that allows Oddle’s merchant partners to gain quick access to capital within 48 hours, by using historical Point-of-Sale (POS) data to aid in credit assessment and analyse sales trends and predict default.

With quick access to cashflow through the MCA, Oddle’s merchant partners were better able to withstand downtrends in their food business and to focus on strengthening their operations to weather the pandemic.