MY: Soft Space group CEO steps down, next funding round still on track

Soft Space's Chang Chew Soon.

In a surprising announcement, Malaysia-based fintech startup Soft Space said that its co-founder and group CEO Chang Chew Soon will step down from his position, effective November 13, 2018.

The statement said that Chang will also relinquish his role as a director but will remain a shareholder in the startup.

“Although I leave with a heavy heart, I’m also convicted that Soft Space is in good hands because my co-founders have been with me from the very beginning and are more than capable of taking the company to new heights.

“I am very proud of the progress the whole team has made. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the board of directors, my co-founders, and all Soft Space staff for having stuck on with us, some of them from the very beginning. All of you are an inspiration to me and I am grateful to have had this experience, and I wish you all the very best ahead,” said Chang.

Soft Space’s board of directors has decided that there will not be a replacement for Chang’s role.

“To facilitate a continued focus on the company’s strategic priorities going forward, Soft Space CEO Joel Tay and Fasspay CEO Chris Leong will continue to assume the leadership roles of both companies, as they had previously done in the past 18 months.

“They (Tay and Leong) have been actively engaged in business decisions, new opportunities within the region, as well as discussions with potential investors for the next round of the company’s funding,” said Soft Space.

Fasspay is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Soft Space and was bought by the latter in October 2014. It has acquired an e-money license recently to expand Soft Space’s service offering in the mobile wallet space.

The startup added that since Tay and Leong assumed leadership 18 months ago, Soft Space’s profitability and revenue have increased by 68 per cent. From January 2017 to August 2018, 90,000 payment terminals were deployed across Southeast Asia where transaction volume of these terminals totalled more than $1.1 billion.

“Chang has always been an innovator, a disruptor at heart, and he has now come to a decision that it’s time for him to venture into something else. While we value Chang as a co-founder of Soft Space, he has decided to move on and in the spirit of entrepreneurship, we understand and respect his decision to do so,” said Tay and Leong.

Founded in 2012, Soft Space has grown to 11 countries, with over 20 financial institutions adopting its digital payments solution. It had closed an undisclosed Series B round from Sumitomo Mitsui Card Company, a subsidiary of Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group this April.

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