Given the impact the recent pandemic has had on small and medium enterprises (SMEs), financing remains a crucial element to a successful recovery strategy. That said, traditional financial institutions have tightened their financial assessment amid the current environment, even as more SMEs shift their focus to fundraising through the capital market.
The recently concluded “Digital Fundraising through the Malaysian Capital Market” webinar on 3 Nov 2021, organized by Capital Markets Malaysia (CMM) in collaboration with SME Association Malaysia, raised awareness on alternative financing options for businesses, focusing on digital fundraising to support SMEs.
Wong Kah Meng, CEO and co-founder of Funding Societies Malaysia and Christopher Lim, Chief Financial Officer of iHandal shared their views on digital financing, along with equity crowdfunding platform provider PitchIn.
On the levels of awareness amongst SMEs, Kah Meng is positive that more can be done to reach the target audience.
“We have done quite well in terms of building awareness through SME segments through webinars, digital advertising and media publications since 2017. However, there is still a lack of awareness and most importantly, trust.”, said Kah Meng.
He then shared that having collaborated on notable partnerships over the years and working alongside major brands such as Lazada, foodpanda, Yellow Pages, to name a few, has really improved and shifted the public perception.
“We are a digital platform, operating from only a website and mobile app, without a physical presence. The onus is on the SMEs to be able to trust us [the team] and reveal sensitive and detailed information, as they would when traditionally approaching a financial institution,” enthused Kah Meng.
Kah Meng’s explanation on digital financing was further bolstered by Christopher Lim, CEO of iHandal who was on hand to provide his testimonial during the session.
iHandal (iHandal Energy Solutions Sdn Bhd) is a preferred partner to renowned hospitality and industrial manufacturing groups for all their energy savings. They are also the first heating system in Malaysia to be awarded the “ITA” for Energy Efficiency and Innovation by the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority. Christopher Lim, CEO of iHandal approached Funding Societies platform after seeing his company grow from strength to strength.
“When we first started looking at digital financing, we were looking at extra financing because we had already maximized our banking facilities. Our company was growing and outgrowing itself. Funding Societies gave us an alternative to the traditional realm.”, explained Christopher.
On why he had turned to the platform, Christopher maintained that it was all due to the swiftness of how things turned out. “The process with Funding Societies was really quick! We sent through our audit reports, projections and financial details that Kah Meng and his team would ask for… the big difference here is really the turnaround time. It took us roughly 2 weeks from submitting all the documents to being financed. It was really beneficial to us since our company is growing really quickly at the moment.”, quipped Christopher.
In conclusion, the virtual event shed light on how digital financing works and creates a positive impact on SMEs, with a typical example of how a business such as iHandal was able to successfully fulfill its financing needs and expand their business.
While there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to financing, Funding Societies offers a broad range of financing products that are tailor-made to meet the needs of each business.
If you’re interested in more virtual events or webinars like these, please follow our social media and stay updated with our blog. If you are a business looking for financing today, head over to our website (www.fundingsocieties.com.my) to explore opportunities!
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