KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), on January 27, announced the launch of its Alternative Funding Program for the year 2021. This program will see MDEC partnering with 11 crowdfunding operators to help entrepreneurs tide the economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 onslaught.
This is MDEC’s second year running the Alternative Funding Program led by its Global Growth Acceleration Division (GGA). This follows the successful launch of the same program in 2020 which saw a total of 16 companies successfully listed on participating platforms with a total of RM19.89 million raised.
Furthermore, realising the pressing need that startups had in terms of business funding at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, MDEC immediately sprung into action with a few funding facilitation programs. The Alternative Funding Program launched in April 2020 saw MDEC partnering with 7 crowdfunding operators to offer alternative channels for startups to obtain funding as traditional routes posed a strong challenge.
Venture Capitalists (VCs) were also being less than receptive to new investments, especially towards early-stage startups due to the uncertainties caused by the pandemic.
Moreover, among the startups that successfully raised funding through the program include PolicyStreet who raised US$1.8 million (RM7.8 million), the largest funds raised to-date from an ECF platform in Malaysia.
“With the continued disruption to businesses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, it is crucial for startups in Malaysia to be able to explore multiple avenues for funding. While initiatives like the Dana Penjana Nasional have done much to address the funding gaps for startups in Malaysia, it is in the best interest of MDEC for them to have more options to ensure sustainable cash flow.
“Backed by the strong outcomes from last year’s program, I believe ECF and P2P are great fundraising avenues for startups to consider,” said Surina Shukri, CEO of MDEC.
“While we were ranked 11th in the emerging startup ecosystem globally by Startup Genome in 2020, our ultimate goal is to be the top-ranking startup ecosystem in the world. Funding facilitation initiatives like our Alternative Funding Program are just one of the many efforts we are making to nurture our startup ecosystem to be top-ranked, which will further help the many as we strive towards Malaysia 5.0 and become the “Heart of Digital ASEAN,” Surina added.
A total of five ECF and six P2P platforms are taking part in this year’s Alternative Funding Program by MDEC and they are:
1. ATA Plus
4. Leet Capital
1. B2B Finpal
3. Funding Societies