HelloGold, the industry’s first Shariah-certified gold digital trading platform, will be shuttering its retail business in Malaysia and Thailand, but will carry on with its B2B initiatives, IFN Fintech has learned.
Attributing the shutdown to weak retail activity, HelloGold CEO Robin Lee confirmed with IFN Fintech that it will cease serving the retail market on the 2nd February 2023.
“While we continue to believe in the value of gold as part of your financial portfolio, we have decided that our business in its current form is no longer commercially viable in the current market conditions,” Lee wrote to its customers in an email today, the 26th January 2023.
The company will instead pivot toward a B2B model, focusing on building institutional partnerships and offering white-labelled solutions to businesses.
Founded in 2015, HelloGold gained recognition as the first fintech start-up to have secured a Fatwa for its gold platform based on AAOIFI’s 2016 Shariah standard on gold; it also launched a Shariah compliant gold-backed token, the HGT. Prior to the AAOIFI standard, the treatment of gold as an Islamic financial product was largely vague with differing scholarly opinions.
Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, it expanded into Thailand in 2019. Over the years, it gained promising momentum with its financially inclusive solution, which allowed individuals to buy gold for as low as RM1 (23 US cents). It formed collaborations with several institutions including AEON Credit and Thai retailer Central Group. To date, it has approximately 60,000 active users, according to Lee.
Until the 2nd February, HelloGold users will still be able to buy and sell gold, and to withdraw their cash. Any remaining gold held in their accounts by noon (GMT+8) of the 2nd February will be sold at the prevailing price, with all funds to be transferred to their bank account within five working days.