Starting a small-scale enterprise is hardly a cakewalk. Since large corporations extend payment terms to preserve cash flow, suppliers face difficulties in raising more cash to finance the payment term extension. Realising these financial problems for SMEs, few bright minds with banking, finance and economics background in Malaysia got together in 2016, to set up CapitalBay. The Malaysian fintech startup helps provide cashflow to startups and SMEs using a multi-bank supply chain finance platform.
Two years down the line, CapitalBay seems well set to get connected with the European start-up ecosystem, having won BetaPitch, a global startup competition that sees contestants from 12 countries including Germany, Portugal, Sweden, Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Egypt, Bosnia, Turkey, South Korea and Malaysia.
Team CapitalBay, the winner of BetaPitch Malaysia 2018 will now represent Malaysia in the grand finale of the competition in Berlin on November 15. The grand finale winner gets a trip to the Silicon Valley and will be offered a free co-working space at Berlin-based co-working hub Betahaus and assistance for market access through Betahaus’ European network.
And CapitalBay isn’t letting the opportunity go. It has lined up plans to tap the European market and eventually explore large markets of India and other southeast Asian and Asian countries, said Darrel Ang, executive director and co-founder, CapitalBay, owned by Bay Group Holdings Sdn Bhd. “We focus on helping responsible corporate optimise their working capital and provide businesses real time technology to collaborate with wider network of financial institutions with a click of a button. Our focus is SME and there is a supply chain spin to it. We also deal with cross border financing-manufacturing and service sector. These are mostly short-term financing — 3 months to 1 year — and the typical ticket size that we deal with are between $15k and $50k. The beauty is our model is flexible, scalable and replicable in any other country as per their norms and compliances. We believe in a transparent and efficient financing environment that minimises risk and optimises working capital for the entire value chain in every industry,” said Ang.
But CapitalBay was not alone. There were many interesting startups at the BetaPitch KL 2018, hosted by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) in partnership with Betahaus and community of more than 500 entrepreneurs, startups and freelancers, waiting to explore the regional and European market. For instance, there was Indonesian startup aglonera, which is a B2B e-commerce platform that helps agribusiness and food business to source their raw material or products through farmer communities directly, disrupting middlemen to simplify the agriculture supply chain and empowering farmers to produce better quality crops and become commercial farmers.
Petbacker, a platform helps connects pet owner with trusted pet sitters. The platform enables pet owners to look for services such as boarding, walking, grooming and day-care from fellow pet lovers easily and securely. Who doesn’t know that many industries depend on high performance computing (HPC) to predict the movements of financial markets and stimulate the efficacy of a chemical compound in the human body. GridMarkets is a Malaysian startup that promises to facilitate innovation and creativity from students and freelancers to small and very large companies by destroying this cost/complexity barrier.
“MDEC is the nodal agency of the Malaysian government working on to promote IT and ITeS for the last 22 years or so. We are now moving up on the value chain. The whole idea is to build an innovative ecosystem, for which both FDI and DDI are equally important. We have been providing monetary and non-monetary support services like fiscal incentives, fund access, market access and so on to technology and non-tech start-ups. Through cross-border cooperation, it is crucial to develop a startup community in southeast Asia and Asia. And that’s exactly what we are trying to do,” said Norhizam Kadir, vice president, growth ecosystem development, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn. Bhd, government of Malaysia.