Commerce DotAsia Ventures Sdn Bhd (Commerce.Asia) has set a new record for equity crowdfunding (ECF) in Malaysia, raising RM20 million in its growth funding round corporate exercise that was over-subscribed and Malaysia’s largest one to date.
In the process, it had also broken its own record set in 2018 when the Malaysian Book of Records recognised Commerce.Asia for a similar corporate exercise.
This time round, a total of 94 Malaysian and international investors participated in the exercise facilitated by licensed ECF platform pitchIN.
The ECF round was led by Paramount Corporation Berhad (Paramount) Group with a RM10 million strategic investment through its wholly-owned investment vehicle Magna Intelligent Sdn Bhd (Magna) and Magna’s 30%-owned associated company, Omegaxis Sdn Bhd, which owns Fundaztic.
Current investors, SEA Unicorn Sdn Bhd, co-owned by Commerce.Asia founder and executive chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah (pic above) and National Tech Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) chairman Dr Sean Seah, also followed on in the ECF round.
Commerce.Asia has become synonymous with being an ‘all in one’ e-commerce ecosystem that provides one-stop, end-to-end e-commerce solutions for brands, businesses and SMEs in Southeast Asia. The group manages all aspects of customers’ online businesses: From developing online stores to managing product sales across multiple e-marketplaces, including warehousing, payment, delivery, marketing and order management.
Commerce.Asia currently has over 92,000 active sellers, posting group gross merchandise volume (GMV) of RM6.7 billion last year.
Ganesh thanked investors for the ‘strong confidence’ in Commerce.Asia, while also apologising to investors who had to be turned away due to the over-subscription.
He also thanked the relevant authorities for their support, especially the Securities Commission for enabling Malaysia’s progressive ECF framework that allowed growth companies like Commerce.Asia to raise capital and to embark on this record-breaking ECF exercise.
Ganesh also expressed his gratitude to Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and specifically the GAIN initiative aimed at creating global tech champions, from nurturing startup disruptors to scaling them to be international unicorns. Commerce.Asia is a GAIN company. GAIN stands for Gateway (market access), Amplification (media, and strategic roundtables), Investors, and Nurture (mentors).
Meanwhile, pitchIN chief executive officer Sam Shafie praised Commerce.Asia for “blazing the trail and setting the scene for other startups to emulate.”
Meanwhile, Paramount’s investment in Commerce.Asia is aligned with its five-year (2020-2024) strategic plan to identify new sources of earnings, particularly in the digital space. Paramount is also the lead applicant of a consortium applying to Bank Negara for a digital banking licence.
“This acquisition results in the convergence of two fast emerging trends – fintech and e-commerce – as it serves as the platform for Fundaztic to provide financing to Commerce.Asia’s network of merchants utilising advanced data analytics and insights,” said Paramount corporate strategy and investment head Tracy Gan (pic).
She added that it also deepens and broadens the merchant ecosystem available to the Paramount Group. Fundaztic is one of the first P2P (peer-to-peer) platforms in Malaysia and has thus far disbursed close to RM150 million and supported more than 2,350 MSMEs throughout the country.
This development would result in strong business synergies between Paramount and Commerce.Asia while creating new revenue streams for both groups.
Moving forward, Commerce.Asia would be exploring a potential public listing within the next 24 months, either through an Initial Product Offering (IPO), a listing via a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) or a merger with a listed company.