Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

MARQETR targets Asia expansion with equity crowdfunding

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Local-based marketing expert marketplace MARQETR has announced the opening of its first-ever equity crowdfunding (ECF), aimed at building its next generation technology platform, increasing headcount, amplifying its marketing activities and access new markets within Asia.

MARQETR, which is founded by marketer and brand-building entrepreneur Mawarni Adam, is a tech-enabled on-demand marketing experts marketplace, a matching platform for business users and high-skilled marketing professional that is leveraging data, technology, and digital innovations to build the future of work for the marketing industry.

According to the company, said ECF targets to raise a minimum of RM250k in return for 1.81% equity, and a maximum of RM3.25m in return for 19.35% equity. This values MARQETR at RM13.5m pre-money.

For Adam, with COVID-19 redefining the marketers’ playbook and accelerating flexible work, they don’t just have a business opportunity here, but also have a huge social opportunity, as studies have shown that there is a great corporate departure that’s happening and the 9-5 is ‘dying’, and that workers generally, and in their case marketers, are looking for alternatives.

“The way we find quality strategic marketing solutions and relevant marketing experts now is totally broken. As dynamic and vibrant as the marketing industry is, it still operates in archaic ways. Business users don’t have access to all their options and when they do find the option, the process is frictioned, long and complex,” Adam stated.

She further explained, “Based on our research, we’ve estimated that there will be at least 50,000 marketers in Malaysia, and 440,000 marketers regionally, making the shift to on-demand and flexible work. When combined with the growing needs of an estimated 64,000 startups and 6.4m SMEs in the region, adopting the same on-demand marketing strategies during a period of unprecedented economic turmoil and post-pandemic trends.”

Additionally, Adam believes that MARQETR is primed for growth to address the capability gap and empower both the service users and providers within a supported marketing ecosystem.

MARQETR’s seed round is open to individuals, angels, institutional investors and members of the marketing community. Investors are able to invest as little as RM2,709 to own a piece of the company, and help shape the future of the brand. Early bird offers of up to 15% bonus shares are available until 31 October 2021.

Marketing Featured South Asia’s latest Eid campaign stresses the message of ‘change starts with you’

Mumbai, India – With the conclusion of the Ramadan period through the Eid al-Fitr festivities, India-based crowdfunding platform has released a new campaign focusing on the message that in order to see change, it all starts within our actions.

Bearing the campaign name ‘#ChangeStartsWithYou’, the narrative follows the story of two young kids who write letters to each other. However, one grows concerned when he fails to receive a reply from his friend. Later he finds out his friend is in the hospital and struggling to pay hospital bills. He shares his concern with his mother to aid his ailing friend and support the family. aims that through this campaign, the message of the holy month of Ramadan which brings together family and friends to spread joy and happiness will be manifested. However, many families struggle to celebrate the spirit of festivities as they are battling for life in the hospital and the pile of medical bills is their growing concern. The campaign aims to focus on bringing change in people’s lives by the act of kindness and intend to help others in need.

According to Varun Sheth, CEO and co-founder at, the campaign captures the essence of festivities of how one can be a force for good and can bring change in people’s lives by doing small gestures.

“Thousands of families struggle to celebrate festivals as they are battling for life in the hospital and the heap of medical bills continues to haunt them. The campaign aims to focus on bringing change in people’s lives by the act of kindness and intention to help others in need,” Sheth stated. responds to the greater need of the Indian population regarding medical needs, as 80% of the population is estimated to lack any form of health insurance, and 63% of all medical emergency costs being out-of-pocket expenses, most families exhaust their entire savings and borrow money at high interest rates to finance their medical costs. Unaffordable medical treatment drives millions of families into the depths of poverty every year. Medical crowdfunding is an alternate option for such people who are in need of urgent money.

“At Ketto, our endeavor is to bridge the affordability gap and make quality healthcare accessible to all. Ketto has hosted over 20,000 campaigns based on facilitating medical needs and raised [more than] INR 200 crores from generous donors in the past year. These campaigns have enabled over 10,000 transplants and critical surgeries,” adds Sheth.

SME Featured Southeast Asia

Crowdfunding platform MyStartr announces 13 successful funding projects in 2020

Shah Alam, Malaysia – MyStartr, a Malaysia-based crowdfunding platform, has announced that it has completed 13 projects in 2020, to which all of them have successfully concluded their fundraising rounds amounting to RM20M.

Among the 13 successful projects in 2020, there were 3 projects successfully raised more than RM2M, namely education smartcard system i-3S (RM3.03M), football court operator FootballHub (RM3.03M) and online auction house BidNow (RM2.1M). 

“Knowledge in relation to the capital market mechanism is essential for startups. However, awareness is still low among startups. Therefore, MyStartr has a mission and objective to assist start-ups, especially the young entrepreneurs who have developed creative and innovative products and services, to grow further. The vision is to assist 5,000 entrepreneurs to be successful over the next 10 years with RM2.5B funded amount,” the company said in a press statement.

They added, “Although the startup scene in Malaysia has been growing tremendously over the last few years, the capital market is still not familiar with the early stage startups. As such, equity crowdfunding platforms such as MyStartr plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between the investors and startups, educating more and more retail investors to invest in a proper way, and assists the startup in scaling faster and bigger.”

In terms of investors, the platform had attracted 1,580 investors participating in equity crowdfunding (ECF) while about 75% of them were retail investors who invested less than RM5,000 in a project. Meanwhile, Malaysia Co-Investment Fund (MyCIF) contributed RM4.09M fund to the platform in 2020, benefiting 8 startups to raise funds successfully and grow their business after the campaign.

Platforms SME Featured ANZ

Aussie-based fintech Thrive aims to raise A$3M for SME waitlist

Melbourne, Australia – Thrive, an AI-powered fintech aimed at small and medium enterprises (SMEs), has announced the initial stages of its crowdfunding, targeting A$3M, on the equity crowdfunding platform Birchal.

The crowdfunding comes after the platform’s interest in launching the Thrive app for its SME waitlist, which has numbered over 7,500 businesses.

According to Thrive’s data, financial admin has been the most disliked activity in running a business and that business owners waste over 42 days a year in managing their financial affairs. This is something that the platform aims to solve by automating banking, accounting tasks, and lending for SMEs. 

Furthermore, Thrive combines a smart business account with value-added services like receipt scanning, invoicing, tax forecasting, payroll, and more. Using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), these tools are designed to run on autopilot, winning back time for busy business owners and making it easy for them to stay in control of their financial destiny.

“We have been running a number of focus groups with small business owners as we put the finishing touches on our product. After we kept getting asked about investment, we decided that we couldn’t think of anything better than to allow our potential customers to become investors in the business as well,” said Michael Nuciforo, co-founder & CEO of Thrive.

Meanwhile, Thrive Co-founder and COO Ben Winford added, “We were really impressed with the Birchal team and platform. We can’t wait to launch our campaign and to get our members behind us. Crowdfunding presents an exciting opportunity to build our brand, grow our member base and build further advocacy for our business.” 

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Malaysia-based ad tech company Rodeo eyes raising $120K, opens round of funding

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Rodeo, an ad-tech company specializing in transit advertising mainly on ride-sharing, food delivery, and last-mile delivery has announced that it targets to raise a minimum of $120K (RM500K), and has opened its first round of funding via equity crowdfunding platform pitchIN.

The company is currently live on pitchIN, and it has prepared an exclusive 30% lifetime discount or rebate from all Rodeo media assets to brands, advertisers, and agencies who will be investing.

Inspired by the company’s revenue that hit $1.2M (RM4.4M) in 3 years, Rodeo seeks to increase the bar even higher by setting a new target revenue of $500K (RM1.9M) by end of 2021.

The investments raised will be used to increase workforce, to incorporate AI technology such as Computer Vision and Machine learning, and for marketing to scale the business and capture market share.

Launched three years ago, Rodeo comprises of 10,000 fleets of cars, taxis, motorcycles, and trucks. During the country’s Movement Control Order (MCO) amid the pandemic, it decided to pivot to online by introducing RodeoGO, an influencer marketing gamification app,

Rodeo’s Chief Executive Officer and Founder Valens Subramaniam shared, “Due to the pandemic, we saw that there was a growing demand and trend for RodeoGO especially when users are practically on idle mode; be it at home and glued on their mobiles phones, TVs and computers. This brings us a good mix of Offline and Online.”