MDEC announces its Alternative Funding Program for 2021, partnering 11 crowdfunding operators
By Digital News Asia January 29, 2021
- 2020 program raised US$4.1 mil for 16 participating startups
- Partnering 11 crowdfunding operators, including ECF and P2P in 2021
The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) today announced the launch of its Alternative Funding Program for the year 2021. This program will see MDEC partnering with 11 crowdfunding operators, with the aim to help entrepreneurs tide the economic challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is MDEC’s second year running the Alternative Funding Program, which is led by its Global Growth Acceleration Division (GGA). The initial program was launched in April 2020, which led to MDEC partnering seven crowdfunding operators to offer alternative channels for startups to obtain funding, as traditional routes posed a strong challenge in the wake of the pandemic.
Last year, 16 companies successfully listed on participating platforms, which saw US$4.1 million (RM19.9 million) being raised. Among these startups is PolicyStreet, who raised US$1.8 million (RM7.8 million) – the largest funds raised to-date from an ECF (equity crowdfunding) platform in Malaysia.
“With the continued disruption to businesses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, it is crucial for startups in Malaysia to be able to explore multiple avenues for funding. While initiatives like the Dana Penjana Nasional have done much to address the funding gaps for startups in Malaysia, it is in the best interest of MDEC for them to have more options to ensure sustainable cash flow,” says MDEC chief executive officer Surina Shukri (pic).
“Backed by the strong outcomes from last year’s program, I believe ECF and P2P are great fundraising avenues for startups to consider.”
Surina adds that while Malaysia is ranked 11th in the emerging startup ecosystem globally by Startup Genone in 2020, MDEC’s ultimate goal is to be the top-ranking startup ecosystem in the world. “Funding facilitation initiatives like our Alternative Funding Program are just one of the many efforts we are making to nurture our startup ecosystem to be topranked, which will further help the many as we strive towards Malaysia 5.0 and become the ‘Heart of Digital ASEAN’”, Surina adds.
A total of five ECF and six P2P (peer-to-peer) platforms are taking part in this year’s Alternative Funding Program by MDEC. On the ECF front are Ata Plus, CrowdPlus.asia, Eurecca, Leet Capital and PitchIN. The P2P platforms that are participating are B2B Finpal, CapBay, Funding Societies, microLEAP, MoneySave and QuicKash.
“MDEC has been promoting ECF and P2P funding platforms actively to startups and I believe that the concerted effort put in by MDEC has led to an increase in public awareness towards the benefits of ECF and P2P investment,” says PolicyStreet cofounder Wilson Beh.
Adding to this, MDEC’s Digitally Powered Business Division vice president Gopi Ganesalingam says, “To further encourage entrepreneurs to leverage on ECF and P2P platforms, our division will also engage the founders of MSC-status companies and other high net worth individuals to pay-it-forward as investors on these digital financing platforms. Most industry leaders have experienced turbulent times and understand the need for support, particularly through financing.”
Entrepreneurs who wish to explore this alternative financing option may submit their interest here. This drive runs from 27 January until 31 March 2021. MDEC will offer priority assessment to all applicants by expediting the eligibility screening process before submitting the profiles to the applicants’ choice of ECF/P2P operator.
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