Kaodim’s Group CEO and Co-Founder, Choong Fui Yu were one of the panellists at IFN Forum Asia 2019 organized by REDMoney Events.
Fui Yu was part of a panel for the topic “IFN Fintech Hiddle: Where’s The Money At?” , along with Johnny Mayo, Asia General Manager at Supercharger and Tang Mun Wai, Manager of Fintech at Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, moderated by Vineeta Tan, Managing Editor at Islamic Finance News.
The panel topic was “What Makes an Ecosystem Integration Successful for Investors, Accelerators and Technology Entrepreneurs”. The moderator started the session by stating on how nurturing a startup is more than just financial planning and funding and proceeded by asking Fui Yu the first question of the panel, “What makes a good ecosystem for startups?”
Fui Yu stated that having access to a good pool of talents is important for startups as it helps to raise to a specific standard and lets them learn the infrastructure to nurture people, such as hiring homegrown talents and bringing people from other parts of the world to compensate Malaysia’s workforce in a field that they do not have much experience in. Johnny added in saying by getting talents who are certified employees definitely helps to solidify a company’s structure and a company needs to have a steady supply of talent, who understands and wants to utilize the current advancement of technology.
Fui Yu expanded the topic stating that a startup needs an operational infrastructure like accelerators and government bodies to help. These legal compliance are important for FinTech startups and new companies that are looking for validity since they do not have the time for compact functions like Finance and Human Resource compliance.
Next, Fui Yu mentioned that having access to capital is a major thing needed to build an ecosystem. He elaborated on how Malaysia is still young in the FinTech scene and that investors would like to know if there is a Malaysia FinTech company out there that is able to differentiate themselves from FinTech companies. Johnny agreed with Fui Yu, that building a good ecosystem requires access to capital but noting that Malaysia struggles with smart investors because the venture capital market avoids a regional FinTech based in Malaysia. Although it has improved over the years, Malaysia is still far behind in comparison with Singapore. Johnny said regionality is important and companies that needed to get funded will use ‘.com.my’ or its location variation in their name to get known.
The moderator then proceeded to ask Fui Yu on his take of the funding landscape since Johnny said that Malaysia lacks smart investors.
Fui Yu mentioned that Kaodim has a prominent investor at an early stage like Cradle Fund. Fui Yu explains that an early stage of a startup, having prominent investors helps a startup to push them into the scene to help secure funding. It takes an effort in the early stages of a company to become prominent without prominent third-party help. In the early stages, it was more to get to know the idea of a brand and funding was, at that time, ‘intense’ but is quite accessible. However, he is not sure that current investors still provide that accessibility anymore but could confirm that there are companies that are looking for regional aspirations to get funding.
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