How it works
What is equity crowdfunding?
Equity crowdfunding is an online platform where entrepreneurs can raise funds for their business from a crowd of investors. Companies who want to be listed will provide information on the business, the amount of capital needed in exchange for shares offered. This way, investors will have a transparent means to assess and take up stakes in the venture. Simply said, equity crowdfunding is driven by the wisdom of the crowd to help fund companies, be it in their start up or growth-stages.
How does Ata Plus work ?
ATA PLUS is an Equity Crowdfunding Platform and Registered Recognised Market Operator by Securities Commission Malaysia which allows entrepreneurs to publicise and showcase their business opportunities to get funding from investors. Entrepreneurs will pitch their business proposition through the ATA PLUS Platform to be screened, before getting listed on the portal. The crowd of potential investors can view the listed businesses and engage with the entrepreneurs online, to assess the deals before making the decision to invest. Once the target funding amount is reached, the paperwork is done and funds are then disbursed. Entrepreneurs can update their investors by posting their business performance and achievements on their individual dashboards.
How is it different from peer-to-peer lending ?
Raising funds through equity crowdfunding means you get to swap shares in return for the financial assistance given by investors. For the investors, they could achieve higher returns than they would in peer-to-peer lending but also bear the risks of the businesses they backed. As for the business owners, the amount of investment acquired would not be bound as a debt.
How can I ensure the confidentiality of my idea ?
ATA PLUS online platform ensures you get connected with registered investors and members to share your business proposition. The more you share, the more interest you are likely to generate. A truly interested investor will prompt for further details of your business which you can issue at your own discretion. On top of that, your true unique value proposition should rely on your execution methods as well as having the right combination of people to ensure the realisation of your business.
Pitching guidelines & eligibility
What type of companies can be listed on Ata Plus ?
Any company from various sectors and growth stage (start-up or ongoing businesses, and even social enterprises) are welcomed to pitch their business on the platform. However these companies will need to comply with the following requirements stipulated by Securities Commission :
- Only locally incorporated private limited companies (excluding exempt private companies), unlisted public companies, limited liability partnerships, and microfunds (registered with the Securities Commission) will be allowed to be hosted on the ECF platform.
- The following entities are prohibited from raising funds through an ECF platform:
- Commercially or financially complex structures (i.e. investment fund companies or financial institutions);
- Public-listed companies and their subsidiaries;
- Companies with no specific business plan or its business plan is to merge or acquire an unidentified entity (i.e. blind pool);
- Companies other than a microfund that propose to use the funds raised to provide loans or make investment in other entities;
- Companies other than a microfund with paid up share capital exceeding RM10 million; and
- Any other type of entity that is specified by the SC.
Does my business qualify ?
Yes, if your business is NOT SIGNIFICANTLY (less than 33% source of revenue) involved in the following activities :
- Liquor and liquor-related activities
- Pork and pork-related activities
- Non-halal food and beverages
- Tobacco, e-cigarettes and tobacco related products & activities
- Adult-related content and entertainment; e.g pornography
- Manufacturing and trading of weapons
- Financial services based on interest
- Conventional insurance
Can I concurrently raise funds on other equity crowdfunding platform ?
You are not allowed to be hosted or raise funds on multiple equity crowdfunding platforms at the same time you are raising funds here on ATA PLUS. This is in accordance with the regulations set up by the Securities Commission.
Understanding & preparing
How does the application process go ?
To get your business listed on ATA PLUS, you’ll need to go through our online application and screening process known as 'MyPitch'.
This requires you to submit information and documents on, amongst others:
- The statutory standing of your business, past track record and credit-worthiness of your business and primary team members.
- Your business plan, financials and funding requirements.
It may take up to 5 business days to process your MyPitch application and we will revert to you on whether your application is qualified to be listed on the platform. In the event that you do not make it through the screening, you are encouraged to resubmit your application within the next 30 days.
Application Step-by-Step Guide.
1. Access the MyPitch Application Form and register as a NEW USER.
2. Once registered, you can key in the required information in the respective fields (kindly note that the items marked with an asterisk (*) are required fields and cannot be left blank).
3. You do not have to complete the form in one sitting. You have the option of saving your progress by scrolling down to the bottom of the form and clicking on "SAVE PROGRESS".
4. Once the required information and documents have been uploaded, click "SUBMIT". You will receive a confirmation email upon submission of your completed MyPitch Application Form.
5. Once you have successfully submitted the MyPitch Application Form (along with all required documents), we will process your application within 5 working days from the receipt of payment of our application processing fee (which will be invoiced to you).
How long does the overall listing process take ?
Assuming that you have everything prepared and complete the two screening processes consecutively, it should not take longer than 1 (one) month to get your business listed on the portal.
Are there any fees involved for me to pitch ?
Signing up as a member is free. Though to get your business listed up will require screening processing fees. Our screening mechanism is positioned to optimize investing outcomes and provide a holistic risk assessment to curate quality deal flow; as well as to facilitate investment decisions that are favourable to you as a business owner.
For more information about your pitching options and fee structure, please click here.
What do I need to do to ensure the probability of success of my application ?
To ensure an ease of completing the forms that are part of the screening process, it’ll be helpful for you to be prepared with the following:
- CCRIS : (Central Credit Reference Information System) is the computerised database maintained at the Credit Bureau, Bank Negara Malaysia. CCRIS processes data received monthly by the Central Bank (Bank Negara), regarding loans given out by financial institutions in order to present a credit report. CCRIS shows unpaid or active accounts and applications for credit in the past 12 months. Please make sure that the report does not show two months in arrears of loan payment for each loan the applicant has undertaken or if there is a debt ratio of 50% or more.
- CTOS : (Credit Tip-Off System) reports providing information on any legal proceedings against individuals and business entities in Malaysia. Other than bankruptcy information on individuals and companies, the report also contains information on legal proceedings such as court file number, filing location, date of notice or court orders, individual’s name or company’s name, the amount of the suits (if any), individual’s identity card number or company’s registered number (if any) and the date mentioned in court proceedings are included in the report. CTOS report shows a much longer time period as the records are kept for an indefinite period.
- DCHEQS : (Dishonoured Cheque Information System) is a computerised database system developed and maintained by Bank Negara to collect, process, store and generate information related to dishonoured cheques. It provides a profile of dishonoured cheque issuers including details such as name, address, identity card number, account number, cheque number, issuance date and amount. The DCHEQS Report keeps a record of current account holders who issue dishonoured cheques (The dishonoured cheques issued may mean that there will be no more consideration for the re-opening of the existing current account), as follows:
- One year for account holders who produce less than three bad cheques within 12 months.
- One year for account holders who produce less than three bad cheques within 12 months.
IMPORTANT :You’ll have to make sure that all statutory submissions to SSM/Companies Commission of Malaysia is in order and up-to-date. This will include the most recent annual return and audited accounts of your company.
The purpose of the application is also to draw out the distinct features of your business and your value proposition. This is where you highlight your strengths, achievements and how sexy your business is to impress the investors. Keep it clear and simple and avoid using jargons, so that potential investors can easily understand what and who they are investing in. “Move” the investors by injecting some enthusiasm and life into your pitch. Explain clearly what your business is about, who you do it for and how it will benefit them. Tell them how you will make money, the potential upside that they can gain and when or how they can exit.
How do I prepare for the video pitch ?
The video is the most important part of the pitch as it is the most persuasive form of content. Make sure that you do something good and authentic. Write an engaging script to connect with the audience and grab their attention. The video should tell who you are, what you do, why do you need that specific amount of money. You should explain how your business solves the problem in the market, what makes you different and the size of the market you are targeting. You should also mention how you are going to monetise your business and highlight sales to-date that you have achieved, if any. The video should not be longer than 3 minutes and will be at your expense. However, we will like to assist you with your scripting and coach your delivery to ensure that your video pitch is up to scratch.
How do I determine my company's valuation ?
The key to a successful pitch lies in the balance between offering value to investors and not to give up too much equity. Unfortunately, there is no one formula for establishing the optimum figure since every business is different. It helps if you could view the pitch from the perspective of an interested investor when trying to assess what is likely to attract investments. Valuations can be a little tricky if there are no peer companies, no revenue or the revenue model isn't clear. Internet giants in the likes of Facebook and Twitter were unique when they first started making valuation a subjective matter for the business owner trying to position their value proposition. In addition, each VC or angel investor will have had their own rules of thumb when it comes to investing. However, for those planning to raise funds for established businesses, it will be easier as you can apply standard valuation methods.
How much equity should I offer in return for the target amount of funds that I want to raise ?
It is up to you to offer what you feel is a fair and reasonable share of their business in return for the amount of funding you intend to raise. Investors are not able to make investment bids for an equity stake and have to commit to investing at the offered level of the equity stake or not invest at all. This means that you could set the minimum amount of investment an investor can make in exchange for shares. You should, however, aim to offer equity at a level that is going to be attractive to potential investors. For example, if you are a start-up business that offers only 5% equity in return for RM100,000 of funding, then you are effectively valuing your business at RM2,000,000; which in most cases will prove to be unreasonable and unlikely to reach your target.
Why do I have to list my key team members ?
Behind every strong company lies its core team. Investors will be interested to know that you share your business with a team with the right skill sets, highly dedicated and experienced individuals. Sharing a little insight about your team will help ensure the investors that you have the right capability to carry out the proposed plan and deliver an exit/return on their investment.
Listing & getting funded
How long will it take to raise funds ?
Since every business is unique and will need different funding round periods, you will have to determine the number of days to reach your funding target. There is, however, a maximum period of 90 days for any kind of businesses to get listed and reach their funding target. Crowdfunding is driven by the wisdom of the crowd to help fund companies, be it in their start up or growth-stages.
How do I get the right market visibility and traction on my offer ?
Once your business is up and listed on the platform, consider that it has spearheaded it’s digital presence and thus has the opportunity access to almost unlimited investors and potential backers. You should take advantage of the services offered by our platform, by linking it to social medias and blasting online marketing campaigns across the platform. What we could do is help cater your marketing strategies to the type of investors that will be interested in your proposition, as well as linking your business with offline key players and agencies. It is up to your company to develop their own collateral such as online videos and to understand how to build and maintain a community of supporters before, during, and after the business/venture launches.
What do I do when I reach the funding target ?
When an investor makes a payment to invest in your company, the money is held securely in an independent 3rd party escrow account. Once your funding target is reached, we will sort out the paperwork. When all is in order, the funds will be transferred into your company’s account.
What happens if the target funding is not achieved ?
If the business pitch does not achieve 100% of its funding target within the normal 3 month listing period, then the committed investments are cancelled, the pitch is closed and the monies are returned to the investors.
How do I engage with investors after reaching the funding target ?
Our portal offers essential communicating platform whereby you can engage with your selected investors. It works like a forum or an online blog where you could update them with the latest progress on your business proposition. Investors too will interact by leaving comments and if so they wish to see you, could request for a private meeting.
Can I pitch again if I have reached the funding target ?
Yes. IMPORTANT : Please take note that under the Securities Commission Equity Crowdfunding (ECF) Guidelines, you are allowed to raise up to a maximum of RM 20 million via Equity Crowdfunding, throughout the company's lifetime, excluding your own capital contribution or any funding obtained through private placement exercises.
Can my pitch get overfunded ?
When a pitch has reached its target funding (100%), you may choose to ‘over fund’ and accept further investment in exchange for releasing additional equity. Otherwise, you can choose not to accept further investment and stick to the initial equity offerings. Before getting listed, you may want to set a secondary target for funding in order to anticipate ‘over funding’ and offer appropriate equity offer. This way, you may continue to accept investment until either the secondary target is met or the funding round closes.
What is MyCIF?
Malaysia Co-Investment Fund (MyCIF) was established by the Ministry of Finance and the Securities Commission Malaysia to be co-invested in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with private investors through ECF and P2P crowdfunding. MyCIF will invest in ECF campaigns that are hosted on ECF platforms in accordance with the following co-investment criteria:
- MyCIF will invest in ECF campaigns based on a 1:4 ratio, in which MyCIF will invest RM1 for every RM4 successfully raised from private investors on the MyCIF participants' platforms;
- MyCIF's maximum investment in each ECF campaign is limited to RM1,000,000;
Visit here to learn more on MyCIF.
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