LoanPanda raises RM1.3m from crowdfunding via MyStartr platform

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian online loan comparison and services platform LoanPanda has raised nearly US$295,000 (RM1.3 million) from equity crowdfunding (ECF) as it looks to transform the financial services ecosystem in Malaysia.

Valued at US$1.8 million, LoanPanda’s campaign hit its minimum target of RM500,000 in an hour, and by the end of the campaign, the funds have exceeded more than 100% of the initial target to achieve RM1,251,000 in funding. A total of 176 investors have contributed to the funding.

The ECF campaign was hosted by MyStartr, an ECF platform licensed by the Securities Commission Malaysia since 2019. As an ECF platform, MyStartr assists startups to scale faster and grow bigger via hosting ECF campaigns that connect startups with investors, while also offering retail investors a chance to participate in innovative startups at an early stage. In the past three years, MyStartr has helped more than 52 startups to secure more than US$18 million of the total crowdfunding amount.

During the two years of the pandemic, the Malaysian small and medium-sized enterprises were badly affected. LoanPanda CEO and founder Nicholas Lim Tze Khai recalled: “One of my acquaintances, Tan, was having a dilemma due to the cash flow problem. In his attempt to seek financing, he had a hard time understanding the banks’ financing information. Not knowing how to compare his financing options, he contacted a so-called ‘banker’ for help but to find himself in a more helpless situation after knowing he was scammed out of his money.”

Disappointed by the unfortunate experience, Lim was determined to put an end to online loan fraud. Drawing on his financial knowledge and experience, he gathered a group of like-minded partners to establish LoanPanda as the Malaysian online loan comparison and services platform to create an ecosystem where “everyone can loan” as its tagline suggests.

LoanPanda aims to create a more transparent and accessible financial services platform for people to easily understand, compare and choose the best financial products on the market that best suit their needs. It seeks to help people make better financial decisions by providing professional analysis and financial calculator comparison tools.

In addition, the platform also offers personalised financial consultation services to help customers create financial plans tailored to meet their financial needs or goals. The consultation service will be supported by its network of affiliated financial consultants — whose credentials and experience have been carefully vetted and verified before they are allowed to join LoanPanda’s network.

Lim said LoanPanda intends to use the funds to further enhance the platform’s technological capabilities (20%), expand its user base (50%) and support its operation and growth (50%) for the next 12 to 18 months.