(L-R) Kelvin Lee – CEO, Khai Lin Sng, CFO, Benjamin Twoon, COO

Singapore fintech startup Fundnel has officially launched its private investment marketplace in Malaysia, where it has already been given the green light to become a Recognised Market Operator by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC).

Fundnel Malaysia will enable many domestic small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to seek alternative channels for fresh capital, just by using a single platform.

To start raising funds, a company must first fill up an online deal application on the platform, which will be screened and assessed by the Fundnel team, comprising of analysts, investment and marketing executives.

Each company is assessed using 130 data points, although, they variate between each market to factor in their nuances. For example, the market risk factors in India are different from that of Singapore. Fundnel claims that its stringent vetting process resulted in less than 10 per cent of fundraising applications being accepted.

Once a company is approved, the Fundnel team will help them prepare the necessary financial documents and strategy to launch a successful campaign.

The published deal will be seen by the platform’s over 10,000 investors, who are made up of institutional and accredited investors. Fundraisers can use price discovery to compare offers and find out which of them best suits their stage of growth or other strategic requirements.

Companies can raise funds via a variety of instruments including equity crowdfunding, convertibles, bonds/debt structures and revenue sharing.

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“The global economy is increasingly being shaped by SMEs, who often face challenges obtaining growth capital,” said Kelvin Lee, CEO and co-founder of Fundnel. “Crossing the borders is a big stride towards our goal of creating access to capital for everyday companies.

“Fundnel’s entry into Malaysia is a testament to the country’s attractiveness as an investment destination and we are excited to welcome the region’s largest private investment platform into our market,” said Norhizam Abdul Kadir, Vice President of Growth Ecosystem Development of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

SMEs form a fast-growing economic group in Malaysia. In 2017, it contributed to 37.1 per cent of the country’s GDP, up from 36.6 per cent in the year before.

Despite this, it is reported that the government’s funding schemes are underutilised due to complex application processes or insufficient loan amounts allocated. Against this backdrop, it’s easy to see why Fundnel is well-placed to fill this gap.

MisterTyre, an on-demand mobile car care services, will be among the first companies to be launched on Fundnel Malaysia. It intends to use the capital to launch its affiliate program across Malaysia and to initiate licensing of its SAAS automotive solution in the United States.

To date, Fundnel said it has facilitated 25 deals for businesses across the region, with a total deal origination value of over US$100 million.

Among the notable regional companies who have raised money on the platform include Vickers Ventures Partners, who used it to raise part of their fifth fund. Outside of Asia, Elon Musk’s revolutionary space rocket company, SpaceX, has also leveraged it to raise capital.

Besides Singapore and Malaysia, Fundnel is also present in Indonesia, Brunei, India and Australia.

Image Credit: Fundnel