Singapore-based collaborative investment platform Fundnel Limited has announced the official launch of its online marketplace covering investment opportunities in sectors such as technology, consumer and retail, healthcare and education.
Startups on the platform can choose from four fundraising models including – Equity, convertible bonds, debt and revenue sharing.
“After nine months of dedicated testing and product iterations, we are pleased to introduce the beta version of our platform. Our aim is to get the rest of the population reinvested into real businesses around us again,” said Kelvin Lee, Co-founder of Fundnel said.
Fundnel has successfully completed six equity and revenue-sharing deals worth approximately US$5 million on the platform since its soft launch in early 2015. These startups are based in multiple geographies across Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong.
These projects include Hong Kong-based on-demand tutor startup Snapask, which raised US$1.8 million through the equity fundraising method.
e27 has reached out to Fundnel for comment.
Here are the edited excerpts:
What setbacks or obstacles did Fundnel have to overcome, or are in the process of tackling, given that crowdfunding is still a fairly new concept to Asia and regulations regarding investments have not adapted to this new paradigm?
The label of “crowdfunding” has opened many doors for us; at the same time, one of the key challenges we face is breaking away from it. Fundnel is using the vehicle of crowdfunding to build a new alternative investment class, and create awareness in the market so that it forms a legitimate slice of every savvy investor’s portfolio.
One of the associated difficulties is tied to the current low level of awareness. A large proportion of our target segment (for example Accredited Investors) aren’t aware of their investor status, and the unique access they have to certain deals and structures.
We’re fortunate to be abreast on the regulations front, with the transparency the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has afforded us. We’re poised for new developments that could shape the market in 2016.
What other projects does Fundnel have in the pipeline?
As part of our vision to create value beyond our borders, we are expanding our deal sourcing activities to include India and Greater China. Aside from the current deal mix on the platform, we are also gearing towards consumer-facing deals (for example consumer retail goods and services, food and beverage, lifestyle & entertainment) with mass participation via revenue share investments.
Does Fundnel plan to raise any funds?
We prefer not to disclose this information, however as with any growing business, if there are strategic investors or viable funding we are always open to consider.
Also, Fundnel aligns ourselves more with “investment fundraising” rather than “crowdfunding”. We also provide more than just equity fundraising and include debt, convertible bonds, rewards-based and even revenue-share. Revenue-share is a relatively new concept in Asia and we are one of the pioneers of this investment option.