S​kolafund Becomes the First ECF Exit in Malaysia
Focus Malaysia 09 Oct 2019 15:43

Skolafund, an impact enterprise that crowdfunds scholarships to university students in need, and which successfully fundraised on the Ata Plus Equity Crowdfunding (ECF) platform in February 2017, has been completely acquired by one of Asia’s biggest donation crowdfunding platforms. The deal gives investors in the ECF round a very satisfactory return of 10% on their investments. However, Impact Investors also have one eye on social impact returns and on that score, Skolafund’s returns were extraordinary.

To-date, Skolafund has crowdsourced scholarships to the tune of RM1.6 million, benefitting a staggering 592 students from less-privileged backgrounds. Equally remarkable is that the Skolafund has acquired a total of over 29,000 registered donors with 11,119 of them actively contributing in a campaign, which represents a highly commendable rate of nearly 40%. In total, 350 campaigns were launched and 189 of them were 100% funded.

In May of this year and working with a partner, Skolafund launched Kitafund to help low income individuals pay for much needed medical services, as well as fund other humanitarian efforts, including animal aid. Working on the same donation based crowdfunding model, the fund achieved equally impressive social impact returns. In total, the fund raised RM1.2 million from a staggering 42,233 donations, benefiting 155 individuals in need. Matching Skolafund, over 29,000 people registered as donors with 21,506 (74%), actively contributing.

It is planned that through this acquisition, Skolafund’s platform will be merged into the acquirer’s regional platform, strengthening the total offering. Tengku Syamil, Skolafund’s CEO and co-founder, sees this step forward through very bullish eyes. “With this significant development, we are on a sounder footing to continue serving the disadvantaged in our communities, whether through aid on education, or other ways - like medical and humanitarian assistance. This also means we can reach more people and be more accessible across Southeast Asia,” said Tengku Syamil.

An Impact Investor through ECF, Dayana Reza, is equally enthused. “It’s extremely heartening to see how well Skolafund has performed. They constantly kept us up-to-date with their progress and I am more than satisfied with my financial returns and ecstatic about the social returns that have been achieved.”

Another Impact Investor, Tan Sri Shahrir bin Abdul Samad, is also lavish in his praise for Skolafund’s achievements. “Obviously investing in Impact Enterprises you consider both the financial and social returns; on both counts Skolafund has exceeded my expectations, particularly on the societal benefits they have provided. It is because of them so many promising students have and are obtaining their education and that benefits us all.”

“We are over the moon with this announcement,” said Elain Lockman, Co-founder and Director of Ata Plus. “Not only for what it means to Skolafund, but equally to their investors that came in at the ECF round. It is Malaysia’s first exit story in ECF and this augurs well for the future of this asset class and also dispels the myth that investing in Impact Enterprises does not give a financial return,” Elain added.

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