Photo - (From left) Bryan Chung, COO Crowdplus.asia; Dr Nik Ramlah Mahmood, Deputy Chief Executive Securities Commission; YB Datuk Chua Tee Yong, Deputy Finance Minister; Teh Kim Seng, Chairman Crowdplus.asia.
CrowdPlus (dot) Asia said it is the ASEAN region's first equity crowdfunding (ECF) platform and will allow venture capital investment methodologies for startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to raise funds from the public.
Malaysia's deputy finance minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong, who officially launched CrowdPlus.asia, said the introduction of the ECF platform showed "Malaysia's quick ability in adopting the latest global economic trend."
"Malaysia is the first country in ASEAN to have a legal framework on crowdfunding to regulate and protect the interest of investors and companies as we believe that crowdfunding offers an innovative option to raise funds for a new venture or expand businesses," said Chua.
"Traditional crowdfunding is projected to raise $30 billion globally this year, with the market for crowdfunding forecasted to grow to US$90 billion by the year 2025. There is also a healthy appetite for alternative market-based channels of financing which traditional financial avenues cannot satisfactorily address," he said.
"This is especially true for a developing nation such as Malaysia. Crowdplus.asia is set to chart new horizons for Malaysia's startups and small businesses - by bridging the divide between venture capital and more conventional methods of financing, and encouraging ASEAN companies to set up their operations in Malaysia and raise funding through their platform," said Chua.
Teh Kim Seng, chairman of CrowdPlus.asia said that the platform has been established with the aim of creating value for both the companies and investors. "The platform will list only quality companies through proven methodologies derived from proven and successful VC investment experience, which eventually will benefit the investors. This creates a win-win relationship as company obtains the required funding while the investors will have the opportunity to partake in the exciting returns of the company."
Qualified matching, due diligence
"The unique feature in CrowdPlus.asia is having a group of lead investors and mentors called the Qualified Matching Investors (QMI). QMIs are a pool of qualified investors and entrepreneurs across the region who have a proven track record of business acumen and who are successful in their respective fields to act as mentors for the companies funded through this platform," he said.
"This will allow the companies to learn from these investors, who could share their experiences and insights as well as provide business networks. We believe that the QMIs will help companies achieve greater value and grow faster," said Teh.
He added CrowdPlus was also backed by regional tech-based venture capital firm Netrove Ventures Group. "Our partnership with Netrove Ventures Group with their regional presence will definitely add value to the startups and SMEs as more new avenues will be opened up for raising funds and business networking potential across Asia. "
Teh said the platform has already attracted investors from the ASEAN region and fund seekers since the company was granted the ECF license.
He said "to ensure the interests of both the companies and the investors is protected, the due diligence process is crucial and it is this strict but much required process that sets CrowdPlus.asia apart from other crowdfunding platforms. We look at the details that parties provide us such as the company's incorporation, shareholders' and directors' information as well as commercial assessment. For the investors, they will make an online submission pertaining to Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act (AMLATFA)."
Teh added that investments from retail investors can begin from as little as RM500 to RM5000 (US$114 to US$1,1400) per company and there was no limit of investments by high net worth individuals per company.
"You might have a great idea and do not know where to start or those who are ready to propel their business to the next level, it only takes 30-60 days to start raising funds via CrowdPlus.asia as simplicity is one of the objectives of the platform," he said. "All one needs to do is to submit an application online at www.crowdplus.asia and we will then begin the due-diligence process. Once approved, the company can publish the deal and commence raising funds. It is this simple and we welcome all startups and SMEs wanting to raise funds for their business through our platform and any investors looking to get returns from their investment."
"If the product or business idea is commercially viable, we are confident the companies can raise up to RM3 million (US$680,000) within a 12-month period, followed by another RM2 million after that via this platform," Tech added.
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