Philippines: Angel group MFT bats for easy listing of SMEs

Visual from company website.

Philippine-based angel investing company MFT Group is batting for the easy inclusion into the capital market of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The group believes allowing SMEs, which represents over 99 per cent of businesses in the Philippines to go public, can help boost the economy further.

In an interaction with DEALSTREETASIA, MFT Group CEO Maria Francesca “Mica” Tan, said it was high time for the local bourse to consider the call in order for high growth companies achieve more success as they get investments.

“We are aggressively working to expand this window of opportunity because the more people are involved in the market, the more their business acumen is raised, and they’re able to explore different investments,” she said.

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“In Singapore, every week if not everyday there is a company submitting documents to list. Here in the Philippines it is very difficult. Sometimes only four, or five listed companies per year,” Tan noted.

Aside from the many requirements for a company to launch an IPO, Tan said a company should at least have annual revenues of more than $6 million (P300 million).

“I wish it is 100 times easier for businesses to go public, to give entrepreneurs more chances to grow,” she said.

Part of MFT’s efforts to encourage opening up opportunities to SMEs in the capital market is to bring to the country international acclaimed angel investors who will help promote angel investing and venture capital.

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In fact, only last November 26, MFT hosted its first Pan-Asian Angel Investing and Venture Capital Congress in Manila, designed to educate business owners, start-ups, investors and local government officials on the Philippine economic forecast, getting a business ready for angel investment and venture capital, and the role of government in supporting angel-backed businesses.

Jordan Green, president and founder of Australia’s premier angel investing group Melbourne Angels, served as the program’s educator. He is tagged as a thought leader in early-stage investing.

“Everything starts with education, and that’s why MFT is at the forefront. Angel investing sure deals with financial capital but also intellectual capital, and that’s where you get to see if you are a good match for the business,” Tan said.

The millennial executive explained that although there is a growing number of startups in the Philippines, a void still exists since this cannot be sustained if there is no growing number of angel groups.

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“People must realize that if we want more startups we need more angels to back them up. And this is what MFT is trying to do,” Tan said.

Founded seven years ago as a purchase order financing company, MFT has evolved into a managed group of six angels, with 15 companies engaged in finance, medical and pharmaceutical, entertainment and lifestyle, and also retail.

“We like to grow up to 100 because MFT’s vision is a global one, to have 100 companies all over the world. The vision has to be crazy and right now we have about 15 companies, there is one in California, and one small office in Hong Kong,” Tan said.

MFT’s top projects and subsidiaries are international supplier of medical supplies and and tools Meihao Corp, credit loan and lending company MRACC Credit Corp, Tambunting Online (the online division of Tambunting Pawnshop), online investment platform Regina Online Investing of Regina Capital Development Corp, Compact Pharmaceutical Corp, Upstart the board game, vape-maker 2Puffs California, and MFT Entertainment.

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