Startup Dealbook: ECF platform pitchIN to list first issuer, Bemalas launches travel services

Another business will list on a Malaysian equity crowdfunding platform soon, as momentum start to build within the new fundraising avenue. Separately, twice-funded startup Bemalas has expanded its offering beyond errands, into travel planning.

pitchIN’s first issuer KRU Academy to list next week

Malaysian equity crowdfunding (ECF) platform operator pitchIN will be listing its first issuer, KRU Academy Sdn Bhd on its platform next week, seeking to raise up to MYR3 million ($780,000) on the platform.

The issuer will start offering shares on pitchIN on April 27, to raise a targeted MYR1 million but will allow an oversubscription of up to 10 per cent equity for MYR3 million.

The creative industry academy is working towards becoming a leading private vocational college with aspirations to expand across Malaysia over the next few years. It also intends to become a regional player by 2025, a statement on Tuesday said.

Operational since 2012, KRU Academy’s revenue grew from MYR150,000 in financial year 2013 (FY2013) to MYR4.9 million in FY2015. By June 30, 2016 it projects a 66 per cent compounded annual growth rate since 2013, with a turnover of MYR6.9 million.

KRU is already a profitable business, and its fundraising through ECF is to bolster its expansion plans. The company projects net profit surpassing MYR10 million in FY2019, and a possible listing on Bursa Malaysia within the next five years.

KRU Academy chief executive officer Norman Abdul Halim said the academy, established in 2012, has grown its student count from 16 to about 500 today.

“Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is gaining good momentum and response from students, parents, sponsors and funders. KRU Academy would like to play a strong role in TVET by diversifying our programmes and we believe it will continue to have strong demand from employers for TVET graduates as our country progresses to become a developed nation by 2020,” he said.

Bemalas launches travel offering

Malaysian startup Bemalas has expanded its ecommerce offering by adding the travel vertical into its mix, featuring a curated list of travel packages that covers hotel stays and tour options for its users.

“Travel is one of the most popular concierge request that Bemalas handles daily and the brand new travel vertical aims to make travel booking hassle free, immersive and highly customisable. (The travel site) allows customers to customise their travel plans by adding bespoke activities and experiences,” the startup said in a statement.

Bemalas is known as Belazee in the region.

Group chief executive officer Adlin Yusman said Bemalas’ goal is to provide customers with a platform that gets them anything they want.

“Building a travel vertical is in line with this vision. We will find you the best places to travel with just a few clicks. Best of all, your concierge is always at hand to serve you should you need something else for the trip, like a new luggage or a new pair of shoes,” he said.

The available packages covers destinations in Southeast Asia, local Malaysian destinations, Far East and Oceania regions. The Malaysia-based platform plans to expand its offering to all the markets it is operating in.

Presently, customers would have to book flight tickets separately but there are plans in place to provide flights as an option. Bemalas aims to offer more destinations in the coming months and expand its offering to all the other countries that it operates in.

Also read:

Four firms to get on board Malaysia’s equity crowdfunding platform pitchIN to raise $1.73m

Malaysian commerce startup Belazee bags pre-Series A funding led by DeNA, Fenox

Cradle Fund, KK Fund co-invest $500k in Malaysia based Bemalas

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.