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Singapore's Crowdonomic registered as equity crowdfunding platform in M'sia

Nicola Castelnuovo, co-founder and chief commercial officer of Crowdonomic; Datuk Ranjit Ajit Singh, chairman, Securities Commission Malaysia; and Leo Shimada, co-founder and chief executive officer of Crowdonomic

SINGAPORE-BASED crowdfunding platform Crowdonomic on Thursday was named a registered equity crowdfunding (ECF) platform in Malaysia by the Securities Commission Malaysia.

Crowdonomic is believed to be the first and only homegrown platform to be conferred this registration in the region.

Said co-founder and chief executive officer Leo Shimada: "This is the high point of our continued constructive engagement with regulators to help shape competitive crowdfunding policies and build fully compliant and professional businesses in the markets we operate in."

This collaborative approach is what distinguishes it from many self-proclaimed crowdfunding platforms currently operating in grey areas, Mr Shimada added.

ECF, not to be confused with reward crowdfunding or debt crowdfunding, lets investors invest in companies in exchange for shares.

"ECF is revolutionary, as it allows businesses for the first time to leverage the full power of social media and technology to efficiently raise capital," said Mr Shimada.

Notably, ECF regulations in Malaysia allow for participation by angel and retail investors, unlike in Singapore where the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has proposed to limit ECF activity to accredited investors.

In Malaysia, regulations also allow businesses to raise up to RM3 million (S$1.08 million) within a 12-month period, and even investment funds to use the platform to raise unlimited amounts. ECF investors will be given a six-day cooling off period, within which they may withdraw the full amount of their investment.

"We hope MAS will take great confidence in the fact that Singapore now has a homegrown fintech startup that is registered in a neighbouring jurisdiction and is set to pave the way in overseas regulated markets. It shows that it not only has startups with the right calibre but also exportable business models in the fintech space," Mr Shimada told BT.