Crowdo received one of the few licenses to operate last year granted by Securities Commission Malaysia. Now Crowdo has launched its equity crowdfunding platform claiming it is best positioned to provide accesss and deal flow to both investors and entrepreneurs. Crowdo states it has the fastest growing investment community in Southeast Asia currently pegged at 20,000 members and growing by “double digits” each quarter.
Leo Shimada, co-founder and CEO of Crowdo, called the official launch of Crowdo in Malaysia as “timely”. Shimada stated Malaysia is at the cusp of a dynamic and exciting growth phase regarding its startup scene.
“Equity crowdfunding is widely seen as a powerful enabler that will help startups grow and further develop their innovation. At the same time, it is viewed as revolutionary, allowing businesses to leverage the full power of community-driven online platforms to efficiently raise capital, for the first time. Startups are more empowered to efficiently raise capital and investors can now transparently access new investment opportunities,” said Shimada.
Shimada said that Malaysia investors are very open to diversified investment offers. With Securities Commission Malaysia at the forefront of fostering a modern funding ecosystem in Southeast Asia, investors are expected to have access to a transparent and efficient method to invest in early stage companies. This will, of course, benefit the Malaysian economy as these startups will have better access to growth capital. According to Crowdo, in Malaysia today approximately 650,000 SMEs operate comprising around 97% of the businesses in the country.
Malaysia may be the first country to craft a regulatory regime that facilitates equity crowdfunding in the region but many other countries are on the same path recognizing the profound need to encourage an innovation economy. Crowdo expects to operate across the region at some point in the future.
Shimada stated, “[We have received] overwhelming interest from startups and investors in the past six months.”
“In Malaysai, entrepreneurs appreciate the benefits of equity crowdfunding, while investors find this platform a transparent and efficient way of diversifying their investment portfolios. Equity crowdfunding also offers cross border investment opportunities on a single platform. International investors from all over the world ware welcome to invest on our platform”.
Startups on their platform will receive assistance in preparing offers. Crowdo’s team of consultants will be available to guide entrepreneurs to improve their chances of success. Investors who invest in these Malaysian startups will receive “comprehensive” information and will be guided to make informed investment decisions. Crowdo members are able to share regional market access and advice on a peer-to-peer basis.
“We aim to make Malaysia a flagship market for equity crowdfunding, and we are focused on building a sustainable and thriving equity crowdfunding platform and ecosystem in the country,” continued Shimada. “This launch is also excellent timing in light of Crowdo’s specialised expertise in Southeast Asia and our proven track record with several hundred projects funded in this region. The recent formation of the ASEAN Economic Community means we can anticipate a rise in regional investment flow with investment liberalisation3 leading to the free flow4 of investments and the freer movement of capital across the region. The ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement further commits members to liberalise and protect cross-border investment, applying international best practices in the treatment of foreign investors and their investments. In the long term, it is anticipated that investment climates conducive to innovation will develop.”
Crowdo cites World Bank estimates that point to the potential for crowdfunding to grow – globally. Management believes the potential value of the Asian market, including China, is up to $62.91 billion.