Ata Plus Sdn Bhd today launched its equity crowdfunding (ECF) platform to Malaysian businesses and entrepreneurs. The company is one of the six companies approved and licensed by Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) to operate an ECF platform in Malaysia.
Speaking at the launch, Ata Plus Chairman Tan Sri Datuk Dr Abdul Samad Hj Alias said, “An alternative funding channel like ECF is an integral part of the rapidly growing movement for the democratisation of capital formation in Malaysia, and levels the field for both investors and entrepreneurs. At the same time, it increases engagement, equality and participation for all stakeholders.”
On a regional perspective, “The centre of global economic gravity is shifting toward Asia and the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) as a single market and production base; allowing for the free flow of goods, services, investments, skilled labour, as well as freer movement of capital across the region. This makes every company within ASEAN now a possible regional player, and with a huge market of over 600 million and a combined gross domestic product of over USD2.4 trillion, is attracting the interest of Global Finance,” said Tan Sri.
“Indeed, most of the companies we have been talking to have already started positioning themselves as an ASEAN, or even global player; and have incorporated strategies to realise these aims. In addition, we believe that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups from within the ASEAN region (which account for 96% of enterprises and between 50-85% of domestic employment across ASEAN), will begin to see the benefits of using Malaysia as a base for raising funds through ECF, as Malaysia has the advantage of having established a regulatory framework that safeguards both investors and investees,” he added.
Ata Plus Director and Co-Founder, Elain Lockman said, “At Ata Plus, we want to be able to help local companies grow and take their businesses to the next level through our ECF platform, in turn, facilitating the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as a significant contributor to our nation’s economy.”
Ata Plus is also focused on creating a thriving ecosystem for socially responsible and ethical Malaysian businesses to build a mutually beneficial relationship with investors. Apart from businesses seeking to raise funds, Ata Plus has a readily available community of investors comprising retail, angel and sophisticated investors, as well as an extensive network of partners* to ensure a healthy funnel of quality deals and investment support.
The company has partnered with key industry players to assist businesses in every step of their funding period and beyond. “Our partners provide support in the areas of deal flow, screening, investment administration and entrepreneurial development. Collectively, they help manage risks and improve compliance for investors while providing valuable assistance for businesses to grow. We value the skills and experience of our partners and what they can offer to businesses seeking to raise funds,” Elain added.
The Ata Plus ECF portal has been designed to focus on all critical risk areas stakeholders need to address in making sound decisions, whilst promoting transparency and good governance at all times. Some of its key functions include:
- Builds awareness and education among entrepreneurs and investors on the processes, merits and risks of ECF
- Offers a digital business screening process to help entrepreneurs position their business and get listed
- Acts as a communication channel between entrepreneurs and investors where both parties have access to closed-user-group forums to facilitate discussions
- Provides ancillary services such as business valuation tools, video pitching tips, preparation of legal documents and reporting tools to manage investor relations
“For us at Ata Plus, it’s not just about raising funds for businesses. We want to offer small and medium-sized investors the opportunity to invest in sustainable Malaysian businesses from PRESS RELEASE various sectors, at different stages of growth and maturity. That is why we have developed a comprehensive and multi-functional ECF portal that would benefit all stakeholders. Investors must be confident that businesses they invest in will do what they say they are going to do. And businesses must practice transparency and integrity in their operations. This will help build confidence in the ECF platform before it can be opened to the masses,” Elain continued.
The Ata Plus management team comprises members with vast knowledge and experience in their fields of expertise, ranging from strategic planning, marketing and branding, risk management, entrepreneurship management, to legal and compliance. “We adopt a long-term approach where building trust and cultivating relationships are crucial for the success of each deal. In fact, we continue to play an active role even after having successfully secured funding for the companies. We take the initiative to provide value-added services, and offer post-investment support such as coaching, mentoring, training and development,” Elain concluded.
* Please refer to the Fact Sheet for the full list of partners.