Enterprise
pitchIN platform continues to draw interest
Behonce Beh 
MyCash Online raised over RM1.2 mil on pitchIN in June last year
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Pitch Platforms Sdn Bhd expects some 20 companies to raise between RM15 mil and RM25 mil on its equity crowdfunding (ECF) platform, pitchIN, by June. The amount to be raised far exceeds the RM14.02 mil raised by 12 issuers for the whole of last year, says its CEO Sam Shafie.

Among the companies likely to come on the PitchIN platform are online beverages retailer Boozeat, bespoke tailor Lord’s 1974 and fashion label Pikat KL.

Sam says over half of the investors put in less than RM5,000 each

Sam says pitchIN commands 55% market share in terms of successful campaigns last year, with 12 out of 22 ECF campaigns hosted on its platform. SalesCandy, Babydash, MyCash Online, Signature Market, QEOS LED Sdn Bhd and WOBB raised over RM1 mil each on the pitchIN platform last year.

In Malaysia, there are only six ECF platforms approved by the Securities Commission.

Sam points out that while technology-related firms dominate the ECF platform, non-technology and offline businesses are starting to look at this avenue to raise money.

LED manufacturer QEOS LED was the first issuer to reach the maximum RM3 mil funding target last December.

“If you look at the entire industry, nine out of 37 companies that have raised funds from ECF in Malaysia are non-technology companies. Four out of that nine were on pitchIN.

“We do see more non-technology companies coming on board as they are made aware and know there is such an option to raise money,” he says.

That said, technology companies remain the majority of successful campaigns conducted across all six ECF platforms.

The total amount raised through ECF in Malaysia since its introduction is RM34 mil, with RM23 mil raised last year alone.

Sam explains that investors seek out not only good deals, but also good companies to invest in. Over 62% of the companies that have conducted ECF campaigns on pitchIN have been in business for one to five years.

Start-ups or companies operating for less than a year represent a small portion of fundraisers on the platform.

 

Investor profile

“Investors are already educated in what we do and are looking forward to our next few deals. They are curious about the type of companies (for which) we will be campaigning soon,” explains Sam.

Last year, pitchIN’s retail investors make up over 54% of the total 856 investors while sophisticated investors (individuals worth over RM3 mil in assets or corporations with net assets over RM10 mil) accounted for only 17%, but invested the most with a total of RM9.5 mil.

Up to 90% of investors on pitchIN are one-time investors and more than 51% of investors put in less than RM5,000 each. Over 66% of investors are male.

“For the likes of online baby products website Babydash, many of their investors were woman,” Sam says.

Since its inception in 2012, the pitchIN rewards venture has become the most successful rewards crowdfunding platform in Southeast Asia.

It claims to hold records for projects that raised the most funds and for the most number of backers for a single project.

It has also successfully executed a slew of groundbreaking crowdfunding projects such as the first-ever Indie festival in Penang, TAPAUfest, on-demand movies Movie GoGo project, pitchIN-MaGIC Challenge, and MDeC’s social project to assist flood victims in East Malaysia.



This article first appeared in Focus Malaysia Issue 268.