Understanding Malaysia’s FinTech Funding Panorama – Deep-Dive

Over the previous few weeks, MEDICI has introduced you a collection of articles, exploring FinTech within the ASEAN area. These articles, every centered on a special ASEAN nation, have offered complete insights into the FinTech funding panorama within the area. MEDICI now brings you the concluding article within the collection.

ASEAN in Figures

ASEAN (the Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations) is the third-largest area in Asia. It’s house to greater than 630 million individuals with one-fourth of the inhabitants residing in city areas. ASEAN has an annual development price of four.7% and has $119.97 billion in FDIs; it is usually one of many fastest-growing areas in addition to the seventh-largest financial system globally.

Its inhabitants is younger, and educated with a literacy price of over 80%, phone-savvy with greater than zero.5 telephones per individual, and enjoys a low-to-mid unemployment price of zero.5–6.9%. ASEAN members even have a mean to a excessive life expectancy of 69–82.7 years, and a gender parity of 49.9% males to 50.1% females.

It has been attention-grabbing, to date, to discover and evaluation ASEAN nations’ FinTech landscapes equivalent to these of Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Bringing the collection on nations on this area to a conclusion is that this fascinating have a look at Malaysia via the lens of FinTech investments within the nation.

Malaysia in Figures

Malaysia has a inhabitants of 30.5 million inhabitants, with greater than 74% of them residing in city areas, and not more than 1.7% residing beneath the nationwide poverty line. The nation additionally has one of many highest telephone and web penetration charges with 1.44 telephones per individual and 71% respectively. The literacy price can be fairly excessive at 94%, and the unemployment price is comparatively low at three.2%.

By way of ease of doing enterprise, the nation is ranked 23rd worldwide, however overseas possession is capped at 30%. Malaysia’s company tax price is at 24% – and will increase regularly if revenue is MYR 500Okay or much less (begins at 19%).

Macroeconomic Overview

Following a decade of spectacular +6% actual GDP development, the Malaysian financial system reported a development deceleration throughout 2015, primarily influenced by exterior components together with a drop in crude oil costs, weak international financial system (notably the slowdown in Chinese language financial system), slowing personal consumption, and a menace of price hike within the US.

In January 2016, Moody’s lowered Malaysia’s outlook to steady from optimistic, pushed by (i) the deterioration in Malaysia’s development and exterior credit score metrics; (ii) the weakening ringgit; (iii) political stress & larger costs; and (iv) rising macro-financial dangers posed by system-wide leverage. Analysts anticipate that the Malaysian financial system will stabilize in late 2016 if the oil costs might rebound.

The dimensions and energy of the center class in Malaysia are driving the nation’s financial development and is predicted to double by 2020 to 10 million.

Snapshot of Malaysia’s Monetary Sector


Malaysia’s AUM is projected to succeed in RM 1.6 trillion by 2020. The Securities Fee’s (SC) projection is supported by Malaysia’s place within the high-growth ASEAN market, liberalized laws, and a quickly rising financial system with an increasing younger workforce.

Malaysia’s Islamic funds’ AUM YoY development has been within the double-digits prior to now 5 years. This development is prone to proceed with deliberate authorities initiatives to additional develop this phase; and rising Muslim economies. Malaysia’s Islamic funds have achieved a CAGR of 17% over the previous 5 years.

Funds investing in ESG-driven (Surroundings, Social, Governance) belongings are gaining recognition. Presently, ESG investments are primarily made by institutional buyers. Each typical and Sharia ESG funds are performing nicely, boosting investor confidence. Uptake of sharia funds is predicted to assist ESG investments develop as they share commonalities.


Lively managers in Malaysia are dealing with stress to decrease their front-end charges as they face difficulties outperforming their indices within the present atmosphere. With anticipated returns remaining low for an prolonged interval, buyers could also be discouraged by their expertise if it takes too lengthy for them to get well their preliminary investments.

One other notable problem is the low participation of the ASEAN Collective Funding Scheme. Six Malaysian funds have utilized for cross-border gross sales, and solely 4 have acquired approval. A Cerulli survey reported that 85% of asset managers from the scheme’s taking part nations mentioned they weren’t planning to supply merchandise through the scheme within the close to future. They most well-liked a master-feeder route as a substitute.

Islamic funds usually are not very enticing to institutional and overseas buyers. Traders have a tendency to speculate instantly into Islamic bonds or ‘sukuk.’


Better internationalization of Islamic funds is predicted to supply development alternatives. The Securities Fee plans to determine Malaysia as a number one worldwide hub for Islamic funds and wealth administration by enhancing cross-border capabilities and connectivity.

The funding is buoyed by optimistic financial metrics and rising demand for funding merchandise. Fast financial development, a younger workforce with larger incomes, and a excessive saving price have led to a sustained enhance within the demand for funding merchandise – this affords alternatives for current and new fund corporations seeking to launch new merchandise.

Lastly, the Securities Fee’s initiatives might increase the variety of ETFs in Malaysia, which is a market nonetheless fledgling and with low demand, however this might change following the announcement that the Securities Fee is seeking to develop the market. The Fee proposes to cut back the price of issuance, amongst different initiatives in a bid to drive market development and supply extra alternatives for issuers.

Regulatory Developments

Regulatory initiatives to additional develop and strengthen key market segments embody:

Launch of the Islamic Fund and Wealth Administration Blueprint in January 2017, together with introduction of the framework for Socially Accountable Funding (SRI) funds and establishing Malaysia as a world hub for an Islamic Funds.

Implementation of key suggestions to drive development for ETFs, mid-cap public restricted corporations and VC/PE segments.

Revised Malaysian Code on Company Governance and institution of the Institute of Company Administrators Malaysia.

Revised Principal Adviser Pointers and a brand new Licensing & Conduct Handbook.

Introduction of the Digital Funding Administration Framework will allow authorised licensees to supply robo-advice and the deployment of blockchain infrastructure to supply more practical clearing, settlement, and depository features.

Key Themes of the Malaysian Banking Sector

Malaysia has been attracting international companies attributable to its sound fundamentals and wholesome monetary atmosphere. Its aggressive authorities reforms are strengthening the banking sector, giving it enhanced worldwide standing. Additionally, Malaysia’s banking sector is dealing with headwinds attributable to slowing mortgage development, low web curiosity margin, and subdued non-interest revenue. Regardless of the headwinds, there are additionally a number of optimistic drivers which analysts imagine would no less than partly offset the headwinds. In December 2015, Fitch Rankings revised the banking sector outlook to unfavorable attributable to larger stress on earnings and asset high quality.

The Malaysian banking system stays nicely capitalized with a mean CAR of 16% in tandem with wholesome loans development. Complete mortgage CAGR has stood at 11% since 2007. Massive banks, together with Public Financial institution and RHB Financial institution, are planning to lift capital to repay exterior money owed and fund future development alternatives.

Asset high quality has improved within the final decade, and no alarming developments have been famous throughout 2015 regardless of a macroeconomic slowdown. Gross NPL ratio improved to 1.60% (from 1.7% in 2014) and is predicted to carry on. Regardless of steady asset high quality, banks are monitoring the state of affairs for indicators of hassle together with bank card balances, family delinquency ranges, and company/SME asset high quality developments.

Digital banking is predicted to develop strongly in Malaysia as elevated utilization of smartphones, tablets, and the web permits banks to supply extra value-added companies on-line to satisfy the varied and distinct monetary wants of shoppers, together with the underserved. Banks equivalent to RHB are additionally energetic in accessing the underbanked inhabitants outdoors of branches. E.g., through ATMs.


MaGIC goals to construct a sustainable entrepreneurship ecosystem and to catalyze creativity & innovation for long-term nationwide impression. Launched in 2014 by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, MaGIC signed an MoU with Stanford College and UP International to additional foster and develop a vibrant startup ecosystem in Malaysia and past.

With the mission of serving to entrepreneurs, MaGIC has 10 packages out there for startups specializing in studying, rising, initiating and galvanizing. MaGIC is a useful resource software appearing as a digital platform for data and referrals with 700 merchandise & companies from over 180 organizations out there for entrepreneurs.

CER for Entrepreneurs: CER for Entrepreneurs is a platform for firms, SMEs, and startup communities to capitalize on disruptive applied sciences and construct a steady innovation pipeline via partnerships.

MaGIC Academy Symposium: The symposium affords fours day of immersion into the newest improvements and disruptive enterprise fashions throughout a number of industries, delivered by the profitable entrepreneurs and main specialists within the area.

MaGIC Activate: MaGIC Activate connects giant company, SMEs, and startups at scale round market alternatives.

MaGIC International Accelerator: MaGIC International Accelerator is a program that accelerates 80 international startups to be investment-ready in 4 months and to construct a robust startup neighborhood.

Social Enterprise Ventures: Social Enterprise Ventures is a fund for scalable and sustainable youth-driven social initiatives. It’s a collaboration between MaGIC and MyHarapan.

MaGIC’s Impression Pushed Enterprise Accreditation (IDEA) Program: MaGIC IDEA Accelerator goals to create a systemic shift by involving personal and public sectors to drive social procurement as a part of their actions.

MaGIC Academy: That is MaGIC’s listing of occasions for entrepreneurs and innovators to attend on all matters and markets of curiosity.

MaGIC @ Stanford: That is an immersive innovation & entrepreneurship program at Stanford College and networking in Silicon Valley.

FinTech Traders – Malaysia

Curiously, that is the place Malaysia differs from its ASEAN counterparts. Versus different ASEAN nations such because the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand, there are not any FinTech-focused enterprise capital funds among the many most energetic buyers in Malaysia.

FinTech-Targeted Funds

With three investments every, 500 Startups, Cradle, and Mavcap are market leaders relating to investments within the monetary companies . Outdoors of SBI holdings, which participated within the $eight million Jirnexu fundraising (one of many prime three FinTech fundraises within the nation), no FinTech-focused gamers are main the market by way of worth.

Sturdy Native Traders

Together with overseas corporations, 500 Startups & Gobi Companions, native gamers Mavcap, Cradle, and 1337 Ventures are current in additional than half of cross-industry and FinTech investments. By way of values, the most important offers are primarily made by overseas gamers together with some native buyers equivalent to Mavcap, OSK, and Cradle. The federal government appears to be fairly concerned via its completely different initiatives.

Accelerators & Incubators

Authorities Accelerators

MaGIC Accelerator Program: This program is open to startups from all ASEAN to startups which are ideally lower than three years previous. The objective is to speed up startups to be investment-ready inside the span of the four-month program. Notable alumni embody BloomThis, Ombre, and Pleased Bunch. The MaGIC Accelerator Program is an initiative by the Authorities of Malaysia.

RAVE Accelerator: That is one other authorities initiative that runs over three months and gives RM20Okay for a sure share of fairness.

Personal & Company Accelerators

NEXEA Accelerator: NEXEA gives RM 50Okay for eight% of fairness and as much as RM 500Okay at program completion, consulting from early-life startup specialists, a devoted tech crew to deal with the MVP or IT growth, mentoring from profitable entrepreneurs, and introduction to buyers. This system lasts for 4 months.

Cyberlab (run by FinNext): This can be a five-month program.

Khazanah NEO Accelerator: Khazanah has gathered three accelerators referred to as 1337 Ventures, CodeAr.my, and WatchTower & Pals to create Khazanah NEO. This system is three months lengthy and affords RM20okay for two% in fairness.

Finnext Accelerator: This can be a 10-month program with mentorship & help and contains entry to a regional community of buyers and entrepreneurs. It targets FinTech and IoT, that are sectors mentioned to be the results of the fourth industrial revolution.

FinTech Supercharger: FinTech Supercharger is a FinTech-only program which is three months lengthy. No fairness is taken. FinTech Supercharger affords workspace, investor community entry, mentors, workshops, publicity, and likewise organizes occasions. Notable startups embody Pand.ai, MyFinB, Chekk, and Neosurance.

District Dojo: District Dojo targets startups which have raised no less than $150Okay. About $50Okay price of fairness is to be given to 500 Startups.

Different Company Accelerators: Sunway iLabs, Tunelabs, Hong Leong Financial institution Startup Accelerator, DiGi, Founder Institute, and Maybank Innovation Centre.

Associations & Angel Networks

Malaysian Enterprise Angel Community: The Malaysian Enterprise Angel Community (MBAN) is the official commerce affiliation and governing physique for angel buyers and angel golf equipment in Malaysia. MBAN is liable for the accreditation of angel buyers, creating consciousness, schooling, and the event of the angel investing ecosystem in Malaysia.

Key People:

Dr. Sivapalan Vivekarajah (Proficeo Ventures)

En Azra’i Shu’ib (TPM)

Mr. Alan Lim (NEXEA Angels)

Lok Choon Hoong (Pintas IP Group)

Dato’ Sri Dr. Vincent Tiew (MD, Andaman Properties)

En. Shamsul Shafie (pitchIN/WTF)

Mr. Matt Van Leeuwen (Platcom Ventures)

Datin Samantha Tee (Wealth Mastery Academy)

Angels Den: The group matches rising companies and entrepreneurs with skilled angel buyers to supply the funds and mentorship they should develop additional. The group runs an angel-led crowdfunding platform the place buyers and skilled enterprise individuals put cash into pre-vetted small/medium-sized enterprises. Angels Den additionally affords enterprise funding clinics for entrepreneurs and offline pitch occasions, the place founders current quick one-to-one elevator pitches to a wide range of buyers.

NEXEA Angels: NEXEA Angels is an accelerator, a enterprise builder, and likewise an angel investor community. NEXEA helps angel buyers to speculate based mostly on their necessities and preferences.

Key People:

B. Lim, N. Fessler

D. Lee, A. Lim

TJ Quah

A. Lim

M. Sum

J. ting

D. Tan

AngelList’s Most Lively People

Okay. Ng (500 Startups)

M. Pui (PWC)

P. Santos (Wavemaker)

B. Mason (angel investor)

N. Lim (8capita)

V. Lauria (Golden Gate Ventures)

Okay.Y. Lim (Monk’s Hill)

H. Loke (pitchIN)

B. Joffe (angel investor)

R. Wee (IncuVest)

R. Salesas (Medra Capital)

B. T. Lim (NEXEA)

Prime Traders

500 Startups: 500 Startups is a Silicon Valley-based incubator, enterprise capital agency, and accelerator specialised in seed investments in small/medium-sized startups, early-stage, post-seed, pre-Collection A, and late-stage FinTechs. It prefers to speculate $zero.05–$1 million for a 5–10% fairness stake. 500 Startups has raised greater than half a billion from its restricted companions (LPs). The fund has participated in three FinTech funding rounds in Malaysia, which have raised over $7 million from their buyers. With three FinTech investments out of 24 investments in complete within the nation, FinTech represents greater than 10% of the investor portfolio allocation domestically. The investor has taken half in two notable fundraisings: KFit ($15 million) and the FinTech iMoney Group ($7 million).

Cradle: Established in 2003 by the Malaysian Ministry of Finance, the agency is an early-stage startup influencer which goals to fund potential and high-caliber tech startups via its Cradle Funding Program (CIP). Cradle has participated in three FinTech fundraising in Malaysia out of 14 investments in complete within the nation, the place 2 of the businesses raised over $7 million from their buyers. Cradle was a part of the iMoney Group fundraising and is likely one of the prime three most energetic FinTech buyers domestically.

Mavcap: Mavcap is a Malaysian personal fairness & enterprise capital agency that focuses on seed/startup, early-to-late-stage startups, mezzanine, rising development, and development capital investments, with greater than 30 million out there in its two funds. Mavcap targets the FinTech Sector, the ICT , and different high-growth industries equivalent to e-tourism, e-commerce, biotech, and the Web of Issues. The fund sometimes invests $zero.25–$5.2 million. The agency has participated in three FinTech funding rounds in Malaysia out of 26 investments. The three corporations raised lower than $1 million from their buyers. Apart from, Mavcap has co-invested together with different buyers in two of the most important cross-industry fundraisings in Malaysia: KFit ($15 million) and Sentinext Therapeutics ($14 million).

Gobi Companions: It’s a Chinese language early-stage & development/enlargement enterprise capital agency which invests within the telco, media, expertise, and FinTech sectors based in 2002 with greater than $350 million raised via its completely different funds. It seeks to speculate $zero.25–$15 million. The agency has participated in two FinTech fundraising in Malaysia, the place the businesses raised over $eight million from their buyers. With two FinTech investments out of 14 investments in complete within the nation, FinTech represents greater than 15% of the investor portfolio allocation domestically. The VC fund co-invested together with different buyers within the second-largest FinTech deal in Malaysia, Jirnexu ($eight million). It has additionally invested in Carsome ($eight.35 million) and iPrice ($5.75 million).

Rebright Companions: Rebright Companions is a Japanese enterprise capital agency based in 2008. The fund has raised over $20 million from its restricted companions. The agency makes a speciality of early-stage, seed, and startup-stage investments. Rebright primarily invests in web, shopper web, gaming, cellular apps, e-commerce & m-commerce, digital media, and cellular companies. It seeks to speculate $zero.1–1 million. The agency has participated in two FinTech funding rounds in Malaysia, the place the 2 corporations raised over $6 million from buyers. The fund made all its investments within the nation within the monetary expertise sector. Rebright has additionally co-invested within the iMoney Group.

Word: All figures in USD

EYInternational Rising Markets FinTech Chief

Varun Mittal is a FinTech skilled main international rising markets FinTech apply at a world consulting & skilled companies agency.

As Affiliate Associate, Varun manages shopper protection of all monetary companies suppliers throughout banking & capital markets, insurance coverage, and wealth & asset administration within the ASEAN area. He has labored with a number of regulators and nationwide commerce promotion businesses to develop FinTech hub ecosystems throughout ASEAN, India, the Center East, the European Union, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

Beforehand, Varun was the primary advertising and marketing and gross sales worker at helloPay (acquired by ANT Monetary, Alibaba Group), led funds for Samsung in ASEAN, and developed regional cellular fee options at Singtel Group.

Varun has authored books and articles on a number of monetary companies domains (FinTech, InsurTech, Blockchain, WealthTech, and Funds), and has additionally written on regulatory compliance (RegTech), entrepreneurship and innovation. He’s the co-founder of Singapore Fintech Affiliation & ASEAN Fintech Community and works carefully with startups, instructional establishments, buyers, and regulators the world over.

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