pitchIN, a Malaysia-based digital platform for investing and fundraising, has reaped the benefits from a dynamic equity crowdfunding scene in Malaysia attributed to the progressive regulators at Securities Commission Malaysia (SC), as it saw the first Shariah compliant company listed on its platform raising 890% of the fundraising target.
Apping Technology, the first Shariah compliant company to be listed on pitchIN, has closed its fundraising campaign raising around RM2.5 million (US$537,363) with about 85 investors, according to Sam.
“There are nine other companies waiting [for approval]. [Of that], three have gotten the approval in terms of its Shariah compliance and the other six are now undergoing the [screening] process. We do expect many more, it’s just that it takes a bit of time, but I think we will see more next year,” Sam told IFN.
pitchIN received approval from the SC to list Shariah compliant companies on the platform just last year, a move that was driven by both the SC and pitchIN. Acknowledging that it is not the first to list certified Shariah compliant companies on its equity crowdfunding platform, Sam said the motivation for the venture was to give a lot more variety to investors.
“There has been demand from some of our investors who are very particular in terms of the companies in which they put their money in. Although on the surface, the companies are actually offering Shariah compliant services or products, but what was absent was that [Shariah] status. We want to cater to that market,” Sam said.
Sam credited the SC for proactively engaging the start-up ecosystem and being open to suggestions and feedback that resulted in a dynamic equity crowdfunding scene in Malaysia. According to Sam, Malaysia was the first in the region to introduce a regulatory framework for equity crowdfunding and one of the earliest countries to allow retail investors to participate.
“We are lucky that we have a really open regulatory body that really insists on engaging and supporting us. The evidence of that is actually the framework itself. If you see the framework in 2015, it’s very different than what you see now. It has become very organic in terms of growth, and I think credit has to go to the regulators who were keeping in time as the ecosystem grew,” Sam said.
The SC first issued the Equity Crowdfunding Framework back in 2015 and there are now nine SC-licensed equity crowdfunding platforms in Malaysia for start-ups to raise investor funds.
This is an excerpt of an IFN interview with Sam Shafie, CEO and co-founder of digital investing and fundraising platform pitchIN. To listen to the full discussion on the equity crowdfunding scene in Malaysia, log on to IFN Podcast.