Akru, Malaysia’s first homegrown robo-advisory hits minimum ECF investment target aims for US$485k
By Digital News Asia November 8, 2020
- Hits US$151k, targeting a max amount of US$485k
- Claims its fees to be 3x cheaper than existing advisory channels
Akrunow Sdn Bhd (Akru), has successfully met its minimum Equity Crowdfunding (ECF) target on Leet Capital. Akru has now raised over US$151,400 (RM625,000) and is still open for investment. It is targeting to raise a maximum of US$485,000 (RM1.99 million).
Leet Capital is one of three new recipients of ECF licenses issued by the Securities Commission Malaysia in 2019.
Akru has applied for the Securities Commission’s co-investment scheme, MyCIF (Malaysian Co-Investment Fund), which matches approved equity crowdfunding projects with a 1:2 ratio, meaning, MyCIF will make a matching investment of 50% of the final amount raised by Akru.
[RM1 = US$0.24]
Akru is Malaysia’s first homegrown robo-advisor company, with the other licensed robo-advisors in Malaysia being from the US, Japan, and Singapore. Akru allows anyone to invest any amount of money, no matter how small, by providing personalised investment advice. It utilises proprietary algorithms to analyse the investor’s profile, preferences, and financial goals to generate personalised investment plans.
For the retail investor, investing can prove to be challenging as it can be quite complicated. This is because retail investors may not have the time to carry out research and there are too many products that lead to choice paralysis. This sort of uninformed investing then leads to investors taking inappropriate financial risks.
Additionally, traditional investment advice is difficult to get for the public as it is really expensive and the existing products available to them are not very personalised and have a poor user experience. These are the problems Akru looks to solve.
Akru solves this in a few easy steps. Users start by answering a few questions about themselves and then set up their goals. Akru’s algorithms will generate an investment recommendation based on the investor’s choices and invest the money into very cheap and well-run ETFs. Akru cuts out the expensive agency distribution and even bears the trading costs, resulting in a service that they claim is at least 3x cheaper than existing investment advisory channels.
With the EPF launching the ‘i-Invest’ platform and enabling investors to invest in unit trust funds, Akru sees a bright future for itself and robo-advisors in Malaysia. The private unit trust AUM (amount under management) is RM470 billion as of July 2019, which is a market Akru believes it can disrupt, especially among younger, more digitally-savvy investors.
Akru is cofounded and led by Tan Chong Liong (pic, top left), the CEO, and Julian Ng (pic, above), the Chief Advisor. Both are well-known personalities in the financial services industry, with over 20 years experience. Tan also serves as a non-executive director for an insurance company and a venture capital firm and is a founding committee member of the Fintech Association of Malaysia. Julian previously worked in companies including J.P. Morgan and Public Mutual and was a radio producer and presenter with the Klang Valley-based BFM89.9.