Raising money for whatever purpose can be a daunting process. Great ideas without the financial clout that will turn them into profitable ventures inevitably fizzle out. However, many entrepreneurial sparks have become huge successes due to crowdfunding support. Crowdfunding, a practice of funding a venture by raising money from a large number of people, has grown in popularity as of late. Here, Top 10 of Malaysia shares its list of Malaysia’s top 10 crowdfunding companies and a brief take on what they do.
Mystartr Sdn Bhd (www.mystartr.com)
Conceived by Lim Hock Lam and Goh Boon Peng in 2012, the MyStartr crowdfunding platform is for those who aspire to turn creative projects into reality, be it films, games, music, art, design or technology. Projects are independently crafted by the person behind it, known as creators and brought to life through the funding from people. Creators are completely responsible over the projects and spend weeks building their pages, and brainstorming on rewards to offer backers pledging to provide monetary support. Since its inception, MyStartr has funded over RM1 million worth of projects and does not allow fundraising for personal gain.
Pitch Platforms Sdn Bhd (www.pitchin.my)
Founded by Sam Shafie and Kashminder Singh in 2012, pitchIN is widely recognised as one of the most successful crowdfunding platforms in Southeast Asia with records for successfully executing projects like the first ever Indie festival in Penang, TAPAUfest and TeeSomethingNice, a tee-shirt project in celebration of Hari Malaysia and Merdeka 2014. pitchIN allows Reward Crowdfunding where ideas or projects are pitched to the public and backers receive rewards from project owners. It also implements Equity Crowdfunding where private companies utilise an online mechanism to raise money from investors in exchange for company shares.
SkolaFund Sdn Bhd (www.skolafund.com)
A crowdfunding company co-founded by current CEO, Tengku Syamil and his friend, Syakir Hashim in 2015, the Skolafund platform matches deserving underprivileged undergrads with potential funders. Essentially, Skolafund allows students wishing to pursue a tertiary education to raise funds for their personal tuition fees or other possible education-related expenses. Skolafund provides solutions that address disadvantages related to the conventional merit-based scholarship system by connecting philanthropists and corporations with candidates from low income to average income families who have been vetted and demonstrate a genuine financial need.
Peoplender Sdn Bhd (www.fundaztic.com)
Peoplender Sdn Bhd was founded in 2015 by a group of people who follow developments in financial technology (FinTech). As CEO, Kristine Ng worked with Citibank and Credit Guarantee Corporation (CGC) before joining Peoplender Sdn Bhd’s, which is a subsidiary of P2P Venture Sdn Bhd founded by the same team to tackle the intricacies of financial technology, specifically in the area of peer-to-peer financing. Receiving the coveted Recognised Market Operator license from the Securities Commission of Malaysia to operate a peer-to-peer financing platform, Fundaztic was formed to focus primarily on driving greater access to financing micro entrepreneurs and startups.
ATA PLUS Sdn Bhd (www.ata-plus.com)
Co-founded by Aimi Aizal Nasharuddin, Elain Lockman and Kyri Andreou, ATA PLUS Sdn Bhd’s equity crowdfunding platform known as Ata-Plus aims to democratise financial inclusion by matching capital with exciting businesses. Investors can leverage on the comprehensive networks in the ATA PLUS ecosystem to manage risk in supporting sustainable business. At Ata-Plus, Aimi believes that being resourceful can be as good as being innovative whereas the upbeat and optimistic Lockman believes nothing is impossible and Andreou constantly challenges the norm with innovative ideas.
Netrove Ventures Group (www.crowdplus.asia)
Founded in 2015 by Executive Chairman of Netrove Ventures Group, Teh Kim Seng, this equity crowdfunding platform is backed by Netrove Ventures, a tech-based venture capital firm and Propellar Corporation Ltd, an equity crowdfunding operator. Leveraging on a tried and tested selection process that enhances the quality of deals presented to the crowd, CrowdPlus.asia has a unique feature which brings qualified mentors across the region to help enhance success for companies funded through CrowdPlus.asia. Using Malaysia as the equity crowdfunding hub for ASEAN, it collaborates with various government agencies and taps into various early-stage incubators and investing networking groups to build the right ecosystem for entrepreneurs.
Alix Global Sdn Bhd (www.alixglobal.com)
Founded in 2013 by CEO Angelld Quah under Alix Global Sdn Bhd, the equity crowdfunding and neo-marketing platform, Alix Global is in a Joint Venture (JV) with Sweden-based FundedByMe. Aiming to be the leading neo-marketing solution provider in Malaysia by essentially digitising conventional businesses, Alix Global’s team of eight professionals with vast experience and expertise strive to strengthen the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia. Significant milestones include being awarded as a licensed Equity Crowdfunding Operator by Securities Commission of Malaysia, organising over 100 Neo Marketing related workshops within 24 months and successfully reaching out to over 300 SMEs and 3,000 participants.
Ethis Kapital Sdn Bhd (www.ethiskapital.com)
Ethis Kapital Sdn Bhd was founded in 2016 by CEO Umar Munshi as a Joint Venture (JV) between Ethis Crowd, Kapital Boost and Malaysian business leaders. The Singaporean based in Malaysia is also founder of Ethis Crowd and Ethis Ventures, the world’s first Real Estate Islamic Crowdfunding Platform. EthisKapital was awarded a Recognised Market Operator license and the world’s first Islamic P2P Crowdfunding license by Securities Commission of Malaysia and possesses combined capabilities of Ethis Crowd and Kapital Boost.
EdSpace Projects Sdn Bhd (www.100percentproject.org)
Founded by Amelia Tan, Andrew Yong and Karthik Karunanithy in 2016, EdSpace Projects Sdn Bhd’s 100% Project is a social enterprise crowdfunding platform for education. It aims to remove barriers teachers face in providing the best learning experience by allowing people to directly support impactful classroom projects by teachers. It currently has partnerships with organisations like Teach For Malaysia and YTL Foundation and has partnered with e-commerce platforms like foodpanda and KFIT. To date, it has raised over RM500, 000 for more than forty projects impacting nearly 17,000 students from all across Malaysia.
Founded by Kal Joffers, Felix Chong Wai Ming and Chan Oga in 2015, this crowdfunding platform empowers teachers to bring their own education projects to fruition by supporting the initiative of teachers. Allowing people to support and finance the projects, Give.my is for teachers who want to start creative projects which are important but require funds. Many instructors who aspire to create change in the education field have used Give.my to raise funds from the public and some of the past projects include study tours and workshops. Nevertheless, Give.my is currently in the midst of transitioning its business direction.