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Crowdo launches, unfazed by other ECF platforms

By Goh Thean Eu for Digital news Asia,

CROWDFUNDING platform operator Crowdo, which officially launched its equity crowdfunding (ECF) platform in Malaysia on Jan 11, believes it has what it takes to beat off its rivals and emerge on top.

“We are distinctly positioned enough that we are not distracted by the other operators,” said its cofounder and chief executive officer Leo Shimada.

“I believe that we are the only operator which has actual operator experience, and which has a regional presence with each market only focusing on crowdfunding.

“This is our bread-and-butter,” he declared.

Last year, the Securities Commission of Malaysia (SC) gave the green light to six ECF operators, allowing them to provide an alternative funding platform for small businesses and startups.

These six platforms operators include Alix Global, Ata Plus, Eureeca, pitchIN and Propellar Crowd+.

Propellar Crowd+ has officially launched its platform crowdplus.asia, while the others are expected to unveil their platforms over the coming months.

“The launch is indeed timely in a Malaysian context, as we believe that the Malaysian startup scene is at the beginning of a dynamic and exciting growth phase,” said Shimada.

“Equity crowdfunding is widely seen as a powerful enabler that will help startups grow and further develop their innovations.

“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.

“Investors can now transparently access new investment opportunities,” he said after the official launch of the Crowdo ECF platform in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 11.

No quantitative targets for now

Shimada said Crowdo would not be focusing too much on growing the number of startups or companies seeking to raise funds on its ECF platform. Instead, it is focusing on the “qualitative aspects.”

“Our focus for Year One is to chase quality instead of volume. I will be happy to have one successful entrepreneur who has raised money to fuel [his or her] business growth,” he said.

“In fact, if you look at the playbook for the United Kingdom and the United States, during the first year, typically, ECF operators like ourselves will do one to two launches every month or every other month.

“This is to ensure that the entrepreneurs listed on our platform gets the extensive end-to-end support they deserve, and to make sure that investors are getting involved in a thoughtful way as well,” he said.

As part of its Jan 11 launch, the Crowdo ECF platform began its preview of wedding.com.my, a Malaysian startup which operates what it describes as a social commerce platform for wedding planning.

“This is a start of a great and long exciting journey, so we do expect to see more exciting and dynamic Malaysian startups being listed on our platform,” said Shimada.

“In addition to that, we are in talks with many businesses and institutions to partner with them as well, either on the business or on the investment side,” he added.

He said he also plans to make Malaysia Crowdo’s flagship market for ECF, and the company is now focusing on building a sustainable platform and ecosystem in the country.

the article first appeared in Digital news Asia.

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