Greentech startup GLT raises over US$200K on CrowdPlus.Asia platform
By Lum Ka Kay July 18, 2016
- Achieved initial funding target of US$100K in just 6 days
- Funds will be used for regional expansion and product development
MALAYSIAN green technology company Green Lagoon Technology Sdn Bhd (GLT) has raised RM800,470 (over US$200,000 at current rates) on the CrowdPlus.Asia equity crowdfunding (ECF) platform.
GLT is a renewable project developer for palm oil mills and wastewater treatment facilities.
According to CrowdPlus.Asia chief operating officer (COO) Bryan Chung (pic above), GLT’s offer went live on June 21 and managed to reach its initial funding target of RM400,000 (about US$100,000) within just six days.
“After a gradual start in approaching the ECF market, the successful completion of our recent GLT campaign has boosted our confidence and proven that ECF is a viable funding option for companies in Malaysia,” he said.
“This is just the beginning and with more education, we will witness how ECF, in collaboration with other partners, can address funding gaps in the ecosystem,” he told Digital News Asia (DNA) via email.
Chung said that CrowdPlus.Asia’s second ECF offer from Edugat Sdn Bhd, an online education consultancy firm, went live on July 14 and has hit 48% of its RM300,000 (about US$75,000) funding target.
CrowdPlus.Asia is one of the six licensed ECF platform operators in Malaysia that provide an alternative funding platform for small businesses and startups.
Green Lagoon expands it horizons
Meanwhile, GLT COO Raymond Cheah (pic above) said the funds raised will be used for regional expansion and to explore other streams such as poultry farm manure and sago milling wastewater.
“We are also developing our own micro-biogas and carbon-monitoring systems, as an added value to the company’s downstream products and services,” he told DNA via email, adding that GLT will expand to the northern Malaysian state of Penang, as well as Indonesia and the Philippines.
GLT was founded in May 2010 when Cheah saw a huge gap in the Malaysian biogas industry as the industry was heavily dominated by foreign companies, he said.
“We realised that Malaysia was way behind developed and developing countries in the implementation of biogas projects.
“Even in neighbouring Indonesia and Thailand, the biogas industry was way ahead of ours, and all the while, palm oil mills in Malaysia weren’t only emitting biogas into the atmosphere but were also losing out on a potential revenue source from renewable energy.
“We saw the opportunity to use our collective knowledge to start something new, and to try to capture some of the biogas market that was available in Malaysia,” he declared.
Cheah said GLT’s core business has always been to provide solutions for palm oil mill effluent.
“In 2011, we took the opportunity to also develop new products and secured our first in-ground biogas storage project – with that, in 2012, we implemented our first project in East Malaysia,” he said.
When asked why he chose ECF to raise funds for GLT, Cheah said it was the opportunity to meet with like-minded people.
“Our business is very niche; out of the palm oil industry, there is hardly anyone who has heard about our business model but ECF offers us an opportunity to meet with different groups of people and open up avenues for us to explore the investment community.
“Not only that, ECF also provides us with a platform to raise awareness about environmental issues in the community,” he added.
Staying power trumps sexiness
Speaking of the future, Cheah said he believes that “there is so much more we can potentially be doing in the coming years.”
“There are still so many opportunities to turn waste into renewable energy, products and services.
“We already have the technology, a strong management team and good project references to keep us moving forward.
“What we lack for the moment is funding and … ECF is helping us overcome that hurdle,” he said, adding that GLT will raise another round of funding soon to fuel its business plans, although he did not give specifics.
Cheah’s advice for other small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are looking to raise funds via ECF is that they should strive for “staying power,” regardless of how sexy their story is or how great their business plan is.
“The longer your business has been able to stay the course, through the tough times and difficult circumstances, the better your chance of raising funds successfully.
“How can you convince investors to part with their money and trust you to make their money work harder to gain more money? Why should they invest in your company, rather than the next one? Why should investors trust you?
“Answer these questions well, and you will be ready to face investors,” he added.
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