Wednesday, 27 May 2020
13/05/2020 10:47 AM

KUALA LUMPUR, May 12 -- Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) today inked two memoranda of understanding (MoU) in a virtual signing ceremony with Pitch Platforms Sdn Bhd (pitchIN) and Microleap PLT (microLEAP), respectively.  

pitchIN, a recognised market operator, offers an Equity Crowdfunding (ECF) platform for companies, while microLEAP is a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) financing platform that allows businesses to raise crowd-sourced funds. 

MTDC's chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Norhalim Yunus said the collaboration was aimed at creating synergies between the funds that are provided by the government and sophisticated investors that invest in those platforms. 

He said the cooperation would enable MTDC to participate in equity crowdfunding investment and P2P financing up to thirty per centum (30 per cent) in eligible prospective companies per campaign of equity crowdfunding and P2P financing.

The collaboration would also grant the wholly-owned subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Berhad, access to relevant information in relation to offerings on the equity crowdfunding and P2P financing platform.

“In this case, we have allocated an initial amount of RM10 million for the equity crowdfunding. If we were to use the normal investment level that we make, that is 30 per cent of any investment, and if the project is around RM2 million to RM3 million, we are probably looking at (to fund) maybe up to RM900,000 per project.

"But for this (collaboration), we are looking at funding about 12 projects, and by doing this the ringgit (provided by the government for funding) stretches three times; instead of funding three projects to the tune of RM900,000, we now can fund 12 projects, reaching more recipients,” he said during the signing ceremony.

The event was broadcasted live on MTDC’s Facebook page. 

Norhalim said more synergies could be generated through such cooperation as they will not only benefit MTDC and the funding platforms but also the entrepreneurs.

“It will also help more and more local entrepreneurs to work on developing 4.0 industry technologies,” he said.

Besides fund management, MTDC also provides an integrated support service for technopreneurs which includes advisory services such as mentoring, soft-landing, branding, fundraising, international collaboration and networking as well as training related to entrepreneurship. 

Norhalim further said the collaboration would add value within the ecosystem as it opens the public and private linkages and potential of companies accessing the relationship with research groups at universities.

Meanwhile, pitchIN’s CEO Shamsul (Sam) Jafni Shafie said the RM10 million co-investment fund by MTDC would be available for technology and deep science focused startups.

“For a start, MTDC will invest up to RM900,000 or maximum of 30 per cent of equity in companies that meet its investment criteria. 

“This funding initiative will be of immense benefit to science and technology-based companies seeking capital to grow their businesses. Leveraging on the power of the crowd, this programme will identify and fund the companies with the most potential to succeed and bring value to investors as well as the nation’s economy,” he said. 

He said companies with homegrown technologies and innovation may contact pitchIN to learn more about the co-investment scheme or apply for the funding. 

According to microLEAP’s CEO Tunku Danny Nasaifuddin Mudzaffar, MTDC would be allocating RM2 million for microLEAP, where it would fund up to RM500,000 or a maximum of 30 per cent in selected shariah-compliant investment notes posted on its platform. 

"With the expected demand from this collaboration with MTDC, microLEAP will be launching microLEAP Plus for issuance in the technology centre which passed our credit assessment, and they will be able to raise funds of up to a maximum of RM500,000 or more on a case by case basis. 

"The COVID-19 crisis is a challenging time for many businesses in the country. Therefore this cooperation is timely in order to help technology companies survive this crisis,” he said. 

Tunku Danny also said MTDC's willingness to co-finance up to 30 per cent, showed its confidence in the selected technology companies’ growth and success potential.

“It will prompt more investors to join in and fund such companies,” he added.

MTDC has been the key player in commercialisation and management of government funding since the Seventh Malaysia Plan. 

-- BERNAMA

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