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First Circle (Financing company in the Philippines)

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First Circle (registered in the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission as First Circle Growth Finance Corp) is a fintech startup that provides online, short-term business financing to small and medium sized businesses in the Philippines..[1].

The company finances business-to-business trade transactions and uses proprietary underwriting software and credit scoring systems[2] to improve capital access[3] for small and medium sized businesses in the Philippines. As of 2021, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) accounted for 99.58 percent[4] of Philippine businesses.


First Circle was founded in March 2016 by Irish-born CEO Patrick Lynch, formerly of CompareAsia Group, and CTO Tony Ennis, previously of Web Summit[5]. The company received its certificate of authority to operate as a financing company from the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission in 2016.

The company was launched at Trade and Financial Tower in Taguig, Metro Manila before moving to its present headquarters at 2F Net One Center 3rd Avenue, corner 26th St, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila in 2018.

In October 2016, First Circle raised $1.2 million in seed funding from Key Capital, 500 Startups, and IMJ Investment Partners[6].

In April 2017, First Circle raised $1.3 million from Accion Venture Lab and Deep Blue Ventures[7].

In October 2018, First Circle raised $26 million in Series A funding. The funding round was led by Venturra Capital, with participation from Insignia Ventures Partners, Silverhorn Investment Advisors, and Tryb Group[8].

Government partners[edit]

Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr endorsed First Circle as a provider of working capital finance to Philippine exporters in 2016[9].

In 2018, the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) secretary Ramon Lopez Jr. signed a Memorandum of Understanding with First Circle CEO Patrick Lynch for a financial education and literacy collaboration in over 950 DTI Negosyo Centers in the Philippines[10]. The Memorandum of Understanding was renewed in 2020[11].

The Quezon City local government unit has also signed a Memorandum of Agreement with First Circle as a financial literacy partner in 2022[12].

In the news[edit]

First Circle was fourth in the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s list of Growth Champions 2022, an annual list of high-growth companies compiled in partnership with international market research firm Statista[13]. Financial Times also ranked First Circle 44th in Asia-Pacific High-Growth Companies 2022, its own list with Statista. First Circle was reported to have an absolute growth rate of 1,042% and an average year-on-year growth of 125% between 2017 to 2020, with its revenue growing from ₱24 million in 2017 to ₱279 million in 2020[14].

In September 2022, First Circle granted its first interest-free financing of ₱15 million to Internet of Things company ClixLogic under their new financing product, the Growth Partners Program[15]

See also[edit]


  1. "First Circle - Financing for growing SMEs". Retrieved 2022-11-10.
  2. "Insignia Ventures Partners". Retrieved 2022-11-10.
  3. "Poor access to financing hampers MSME growth". Retrieved 2022-11-10.
  4. "2021 MSME Statistics". Retrieved 2022-11-10.
  5. Review, G. T.; Bermingham, Finbarr (2016-11-09). "Irish entrepreneurs First Circle launch Filipino fintech". Global Trade Review (GTR). Retrieved 2022-11-10.
  6. "First Circle raises funding from Accion Venture Lab, Deep Blue VC to help Filipino SMEs access capital". Retrieved 2022-11-10.
  7. Russell, Jon (2017-04-12). "First Circle raises $1.3M for its SME lending service in the Philippines". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2022-11-10.
  8. "First Circle Stock Price, Funding, Valuation, Revenue & Financial Statements". Retrieved 2022-11-10.
  9. Philexport President Sergio Ortiz Endorses First Circle, retrieved 2022-11-10
  10. "". Twitter. Retrieved 2022-11-10. External link in |title= (help)
  11. "Opening Remarks of Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, DTI-First Circle MOU Renewal Signing". Retrieved 2022-11-10.
  12. Inquirer, Philippine Daily (2022-02-10). "QC, First Circle partner to help SMEs". Retrieved 2022-11-10.
  13. Inquirer, Philippine Daily (2022-03-14). "Beating the pandemic odds". Retrieved 2022-11-10.
  14. "FT ranking: Asia-Pacific High-Growth Companies 2022". 2022-03-17. Retrieved 2022-11-10.
  15. "First Circle grants first loan to SME without interest". ABS-CBN News.

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