Kuala Lumpur, 11 January 2016 – Crowdo, one of the largest crowdfunding platforms in Southeast Asia, today officially launched its equity crowdfunding platform in Malaysia. This follows Crowdo being approved as a Recognised Market Operator (Equity Crowdfunding Platform) by Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) in June 2015.
“This 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. 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 Leo Shimada, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Crowdo.
“Malaysian investors are one of the most open to diversified investment offerings. With equity crowdfunding, which is subject to SC regulations, investors will have transparent and efficient ways to invest in startups, while SMEs will have better access to potential financing. In Malaysia, this will change the business landscape, as there is a huge pool of potential investment opportunities, with close to 650,000SMEs comprising more than 97% of total businesses in the country. Indeed, governments across Asia are encouraging this alternative financing channel to make early stage capital formation more efficient, and boost entrepreneurship and innovation. Crowdo is proud to be part of history in the making, as Malaysia became the first country in the Asia Pacific to legislate equity crowdfunding last year,” Shimada added.
Equity crowdfunding has generated strong interest in Malaysia, with Crowdo receiving overwhelming interest from startups and investors in the past six months. “In Malaysia, 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 are welcome to invest on our platform,” Shimada noted.
Crowdo’s launch featured a panel discussion on equity crowdfunding’s role and impact on Malaysia’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem. Shimada joined notable executives from Securities Commission Malaysia and the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), and a renowned local Malaysia entrepreneur to discuss how equity crowdfunding presents a powerful and unique opportunity in addressing financing challenges to help businesses achieve their full potential.During the launch, Shimada also introduced the new Crowdo website and demonstrated using the site from a user perspective.
“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. 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 liberalisation leading to the free flow 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,” he commented.
Best positioned to offer the strongest combination of market access, quality deal flow, and financial expertise to both entrepreneurs and investors, Crowdo has a holistic view of both sides of the marketplace, being a startup led by a team of fintech experts with investment backgrounds. Startups on Crowdo’s platform receive assistance in preparing quality offers. Crowdo’s team of consultants – armed with real-world experience from supporting hundreds of offers since 2013, carefully guide entrepreneurs to improve their chances of success. Meanwhile, investors who invest in these promising Malaysian startups receive comprehensive information and are guided to make informed investment decisions.
Crowdo has one of the fastest growing communities in Southeast Asia, currently with close to 20,000 members and growing by double digits quarterly. These members are prospective investors who can also support entrepreneurs as evangelists to help spread the news on their funding needs. The members are able to share regional market access and advice on a peer-to-peer basis. Crowdo’s vast expertise in entrepreneurship and startup investments extends beyond Southeast Asia, having helped projects across six continents raise funding from more than 70 countries.
According to the World Bank, the total market potential for crowdfunding globally outside the United States could reach as high as $95.67 billion by 2025. From this figure, China leads the estimates with up to $50.06 billion potentially invested, while across the Asia Pacific region, which comprises China, East Asia and the Pacific, and South Asia, the crowdfunding potential is valued at up to $62.91 billion. In comparison, the total venture capital funding deployed globally in 2012 was $51.7 billion, with almost 58% deployed in the United States alone. Thus, about $21 billion in venture capital funds was invested in the rest of the world. This aptly indicates the vast potential size of crowdfunding in the developing world. With up to $95.67 billion in crowdfunding potential, this represents 1.8 times the total global VC investment in 2012 and more than four times the total VC funding outside the United States.
 11th Malaysia Plan 2016-2020, page 255, Small and medium enterprises http://www.penerangan.gov.my/dmdocuments/bukurmk11/bukurmk11.html#255/z
 9 November 2015, CNBC, Equity crowdfunding gains traction in Asia
 31 December 2015, CNBC, Will the ASEAN Economic Community be a bang or a bust?
 29 December 2015, Asian Development Bank, ASEAN Economic Community: 12 Things to Know
 23 June 2014, Asian Development Bank, Keynote speech: ASEAN Integration and the Private Sector – Stephen P. Groff
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