SC registers new ECF and P2P platform operators

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 17): Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) chairman Datuk Syed Zaid Albar announced the registration of three new equity crowdfunding (ECF) platform operators and five peer-to-peer (P2P) financing platform operators.

The new ECF operators are 1337 Ventures Sdn Bhd, Ethis Ventures Sdn Bhd, and MyStartr Sdn Bhd, while the P2P operators are Bay Smart Capital Ventures Sdn Bhd,Capssphere Services Sdn Bhd, Crowd Sense Sdn Bhd, MicroLEAP PLT, and Money Save Capital PLT.

"The sustained level of interest shown is indicative of strong demand for more platform operators, particularly those which provide a differentiated value proposition for targeted segments of issuers and investors," he said at the inaugural SC Fintech Roundtable held here today.

"We hope that the registration of these new platforms will help to further broaden the ECF and P2P financing market segments and enable healthy competition while meeting unmet demand from both issuers and investors.

He noted that the SC will continue to facilitate development of innovative digital solutions which democratise access to investments while broadening financing options available for all Malaysians.

"The introduction of ECF and P2P Financing provides an alternative source of capital for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to fund business expansion, finance working capital and meet other financial requirements," said Syed Zaid.

With the addition of the new ECF and P2P financing players, which will be operationalised by the end of the year, there are now 21 market-based financing platform operators registered in Malaysia, said the SC.

As at end-March 2019, the ECF and P2P financing market has provided close to RM350 million of alternative financing for nearly 900 Malaysian MSMEs.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, who is here to launch the fintech roundtable today, anticipates that MSMEs will contribute some 41% of the Malaysian gross development product (GDP) by 2020, versus 37% of GDP in 2018.

"They comprise about 98.5% of the total business establishments in the country and employ two-thirds of all workers in Malaysia.

"As such, spurring the development of MSMEs to ensure their competitiveness and scalability is imperative," Lim said during his special address here today.

He also noted that through the power of the "crowd", market-based financing platforms such as ECF also allow entrepreneurs to interact with their customers who are themselves investors to shape and refine product ideas.

"As such, crowdfunding is a great asset to businesses and entrepreneurs, generating much needed revenue and increasing the customer base, while at the same time aiding our country's economy," he added.