Making sure no company gets left behind, even during hard times

TWO leading women from the local fintech scene have joined hands to come up with an initiative to assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) survive a difficult economic period by providing access to alternative funding options.

This is achieved by a strategic alliance forged between Ata Plus Sdn Bhd and IAP Integrated Sdn Bhd, which aims to diversify the avenues of funding for companies wishing to raise funds through the platforms.

Being one of the first companies approved as a registered market operator back in June 2015, Ata Plus is one of Malaysia’s fastest growing equity crowdfunding (ECF) platforms since it launched in March 2016.

Over the years, it has raised more than RM40 mil for SMEs and startups, garnering a total of 900 investors from 19 countries as of January 2021.

Meanwhile, IAP Integrated, launched by the former Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) allows both investors and entrepreneurs to experience and benefit from new risk-rewards concepts.

So far, it has achieved great success in raising an impressive RM211.4 mil from over 350 investors for 14 listings.

By leveraging on each others’ strengths and unique product offerings, the collaboration will allow young companies the capability to raise funds through Ata Plus via the ECF model.

According to IAP Integrated CEO Joanne Enriquez, a number of promising companies had to be turned down as they were too early in their journey to satisfy the platform’s requirements. The partnership acts as a solution to that particular issue.

“The end goal is to ensure that no venture is left behind and that these companies have an avenue to raise the funds requires. This will secure their business sustainability, continuity and growth of these companies,” she told FocusM.

“We hope that after a successful equity raise and further growth, these companies would return to IAP for their future funding requirements,” Enriquez added.

Meanwhile, Ata Plus co-founder and director Elain Lockman explained that IAP’s approach of supporting the high-potential companies struck a personal chord with her as Ata Plus’ entire value system rests on being inclusive and making sure that no company gets left out.

“Seeing the dire state of companies during the movement control order (MCO) periods pushed us forward in solidifying a collaboration with each other so we could better support our constituents and the wider ecosystem,” Lockman commented. – Feb 18, 2021

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