KUALA LUMPUR, 17 FEBRUARY 2021 – Ata Plus Sdn Bhd (Ata Plus) and IAP Integrated Sdn Bhd (IAP Integrated) have announced a strategic alliance to diversify the avenues for funding that are available for the companies that are interested in raising funds through either platform. Through this mutually beneficial collaboration, the platforms are leveraging each others’ strengths and unique product offerings as a value add to their customer base.
Ata Plus is an Equity Crowdfunding (ECF) Platform registered with Securities Commission Malaysia. Ata Plus was one of the first companies that was approved as a Registered Market Operator back in June 2015. Since its launch in March 2016, Ata Plus is one of Malaysia’s fastest growing ECF platforms, raising over RM40 million for SMEs and startups as at January 2021 from a total of 900 investors from 19 countries across the globe. Ata Plus’ growth has been driven by its mission of democratising wealth by making investing accessible to the average person and by ensuring that startups have access to funding – filling a crucial gap that is key to sustain the continued growth of Malaysian entrepreneurs and SMEs.
IAP Integrated, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raeed Holdings Sdn Bhd, a consortium of 6 Islamic Banks; operates a multibank investment portal – Investment Account Platform (IAP). Launched by the former Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz on 17 February 2016, IAP allows both investors and entrepreneurs to experience and benefit from the new risk-rewards concepts embedded in the Investment Account (IA) product offered by these banks. In performing their investment intermediation role to operationalise IA via IAP, these banks would rigorously undertake the credit assessment and screening of the listed companies. IAP has achieved significant success having raised an impressive RM211.4 million from over 350 investors for 14 listings.
The collaboration between Ata Plus and IAP Integrated is the first of its kind. Through this alliance, companies that are too young or not quite ready to be listed on IAP will be able to raise funds through Ata Plus using the ECF model. As IAP celebrates its 5th Anniversary this year, they move forward with the mission of helping a greater number of companies.
The CEO of IAP Integrated, Joann Enriquez said “In the past, our ability to host promising, bankable companies on our platform has been curtailed by conventional compliance requirements. The requirements specifically impact the companies that are young who can’t produce the minimum of having 2 years of audited financial statements. This has pushed us to explore collaborations with alternative financing platforms such as ECF, to aid these companies and leave no company behind.”
This limitation has been the driving force behind their alliance with Ata Plus. By leveraging on the strength of Ata Plus, IAP will be able to present alternative funding opportunities for early-stage companies that approach them, therefore reducing the number of companies that are left unattended or turned away. “The hope is that, after a successful equity raise and further growth, these promising companies can return to IAP for their future funding requirements,” Joann added.
Traditionally, companies raise funds via ECF for growth and expansion. Those that are more interested in short to medium term project financing can now turn to IAP. “We’re equally excited for this collaboration and the prospect of offering our issuers another financial product through IAP,” said Elain Lockman, Co-Founder and Director of Ata Plus. “Ensuring that more companies are able to fund their operations is essential in keeping Malaysia’s entrepreneurial scene vibrant,” she added.
It is hoped that the complimentary products offered by Ata Plus and IAP through this collaboration will provide more companies with the option to raise capital from alternative channels and survive a challenging economic climate.