Orlins Venture Group (OVG), a Malaysian natural beauty products distributor, has successfully secured RM302,000 from 54 investors through its equity crowdfunding (ECF) round on Ata Plus, surpassing their target by 20.8%. The company also has a committed additional investment of RM500,000, that unfortunately couldn't be deposited in time to be included in the ECF campaign, but nonetheless the amount will be invested by March 15th. This will give the company a funding total of RM802,000, an oversubscription of 220.8%.
OVG’s ECF fundraising campaign was launched in July 2018 and eventually took 8 months and 3 days to reach its target. Early Investments trickled in slowly though interest was strong which prompted OVG to prolong the fundraising at the recommendation of Ata Plus.
The campaign was extended 4 times in total, 2 months for the first extension, 2 months for the 2nd extension, 14 days for the 3rd extension, and finally 21 days for the 4th extension. The total amount raised at those junctures were RM1500; RM4,000; RM19,500; and RM20,000. Extending a campaign does however, come with risk as investors have the right to withdraw their investment due to the change of terms. Investors at each extension were given valid reasons why the campaign was being extended and in total only two investors withdrew an amount of RM2,500.
Founder and CEO of OVG, Dr. Siva Kumar Shanmugam, worked tirelessly throughout the whole fundraising to meet as many potential investors and partners as he could, and Orlins was ever present at Eye Contact, an event Ata Plus has created where investors can get direct answers from founders on their businesses.
Gradually the hard work began to pay off. Business had to go on and OVG secured several new partnerships with major distribution companies across Asia, including PT Biomed in Indonesia, the IFG Group China, and JJ Beauty House of Thailand. In addition, the company tied up with several local Malaysian companies to help further expand these companies market reach. One such alliance was with SustNET (Sustainable Business Network Association Malaysia), for the outbound distribution of Halal products manufactured in Malaysia to markets in Southeast Asia, China and Central Asia. OVG furthermore started to broadcast on Astro GO SHOP in January 2019, generating a healthy RM 35,000 of sales in the first 2 sessions. All this business growth sparked further interest on investment from multiple parties especially during the Eye Contact events held at Ata Plus’s office.
OVG’s determination and persistence not only awarded them with numerous strategic partnerships, but to also attain 54 unique investors with RM301,500 worth of investments, exceeding its ECF target of RM250,000. “We’re overjoyed with the 54 new backers who not only believe in our business model and our potential growth, but through ECF we have obtained strategic connections as we expand regionally. By building a wide base of investors, we have gone beyond just acquiring capital, we undeniably have also gained a crowd of loyal OVG ambassadors,” said Dr. Siva.
The fundraising initiative is aimed at broadening OVG’s product offerings and market reach, creating a greater access for people looking to adopt a more natural personal care and beauty regime. Additionally, the funds raised will also be used to increase their marketing efforts as they set out to expand in Indonesia, China and Philippines.
“OVG is all about belief and hard work. Fundraising needs determination, strong convictions, and stamina. We were initially perplexed as to why OVG’s investments were slow and small, but convinced Dr Siva of the ‘Flywheel Effect’ coined by Jim Collins in his book ‘Good To Great’, where the process resembles relentlessly pushing a giant, heavy flywheel, turn upon turn, building momentum until a point of breakthrough, and beyond. Similarly, we believed that once Orlins had some significant momentum on investments the rest would ‘pour’ in, and so it proved.” said Kyri Andreou, Director and Co-founder of Ata Plus.