Highlights:

  1. Payrollpanda raises seed round of RM2.8 mln
  2. OCBC Bank and Peoplender Join Forces to Enhance SME Access to Financing
  3. RHB Provides First of its Kind Total Online Solutions for SMEs
  4. MaGIC and MGTC Partner Up to Launch ClimateLaunchpad Malaysia
  5. Investors find Chinese and Hong Kong corporates delivering excellence in investor relations programs

Payrollpanda raises seed round of RM2.8 mln
PayrollPanda, a human resources and payroll software provider targeted at Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs), today announced it has raised a further US$700,000 or RM2.8 million in seed funding. Most of the investment came from two family offices based in the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia, the company said in a statement. It said PayrollPanda is planning future launches in regional markets but it will remain focused in Malaysia until at least early 2019. Co-founder cum chief executive officer of PayrollPanda, Toine Vaessen, said he was confident of achieving a target of 20,000 customers in Malaysia in five years. “It’s great to see Malaysian SMEs embrace cloud technology. Apart from saving time and ensuring statutory compliance, we make payroll simple. “The new funding allows us to further enhance the product and focus on HR automation from onboarding, to time & attendance, claims and more,” he said.

OCBC Bank and Peoplender Join Forces to Enhance SME Access to Financing
OCBC Bank (Malaysia) and Peoplender have entered into a collaborative agreement to enhance access to financing for micro, small and new businesses which forms the largest base of SMEs in the country currently facing difficulty to obtain funding for business growth. Peoplender fully owns and runs Fundaztic.com, a peer-to-peer financing platform licensed by the Securities Commission. The effort will see OCBC Bank referring to Peoplender, viable SMEs needing business financing but does not fulfil the current risk appetite of the bank such as having insufficient track records as required. Since its launch, Fundaztic has successfully disbursed close to RM15 million in funding to more than 170 SMEs of which, more than 50% are businesses that are 3 years or lesser in operations. “As an online platform in a new industry that is barely one year old, the ability to reach out to all viable SMEs is limited. This is why, the collaboration with OCBC is promising as the bank have a much wider reach in terms of their branch network across the country as well as their human resources. This collaborative effort will definitely be a win in terms of enhancing access to financing for SMEs and strengthen the lending ecosystem which will in turn boost the economy” said Kristine Ng, CEO of Peoplender.

RHB Provides First of its Kind Total Online Solutions for SMEs
RHB Bank continues its expansion of the RHB SME e-Solution, offering the first total cloud based solutions aimed at providing greater connectivity and efficiency for SMEs. With the expansion in place, RHB becomes the first financial institution in the country to offer the first-of-its-kind, all-in-one hassle-free solution for Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) looking to digitalise the way they run their business. Originally targeted at the retail industry, RHB SME e-Solution has now been expanded to cover SMEs from all segments.

MaGIC and MGTC Partner Up to Launch ClimateLaunchpad Malaysia
Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) has introduced ClimateLaunchpad Malaysia, an inaugural competition aimed at cultivating innovative green and sustainable business ideas in Malaysia. Launched in partnership with Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (MGTC) and ClimateLaunchpad, the world’s largest and smartest green business ideas competition, the programme seeks to find and foster the best green or eco-business ideas and help build these ideas into commercially-viable and scalable businesses. ClimateLaunchpad is part of the Entrepreneurship offerings of EIT Climate-KIC. Climate-KIC is supported by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union. Clean energy investment has largely increased over the last decade, with Asia’s investment in clean energy reaching USD187 billion in 2017.  With a shared mission to unlock the potential of green ideas, the three partners have come together in this initiative to help push the green agenda in Malaysia, raise awareness and encourage more startups to focus their solutions on pressing issues such as reducing carbon emissions or plastic consumption.

Investors find Chinese and Hong Kong corporates delivering excellence in investor relations programs
Geely Automobile Holdings and Kerry Logistics Network, clinched the first-place slots in all four categories of Best CEO, Best CFO, Best Investor Relations Professional and Best IR Company rankings in their respective sectors of Autos & Auto Parts and Transportation in the 2018 All-Asia Executive Team survey announced today by Institutional Investor. Only four companies in Asia accomplished this feat. The other two companies are Ping An Insurance (Group) Co., a personal financial services provider in the Insurance sector, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., the world’s largest semiconductor foundry. Last year, only one company captured first place in every single category, underscoring the intense competition for the mindshare of both buy-side investors and sell-side analysts. With this year’s record survey participation, Hong Kong and China listed companies have extended their lead in the minds of global investors for the second year in a row. Yet, the concentration of votes to the leading companies is more apparent with a decline of Honored Companies from 118 to 101, impacting particularly the Consumer/Staples and Property sectors. Key trends emerging from the survey include Mainland China companies again dominating the rankings, edging out a number of past winners from India and Australia. For the first time, Indian companies are not ranked in the Healthcare & Pharmaceutical sector — a sector they dominated before 2017. Chinese firms will, however, need to improve their commitment to corporate governance and ESG to match the higher global standard. For the first time, Institutional Investor is awarding companies that deliver the best corporate governance and ESG insights in their sector. However, despite a strong overall performance of Chinese companies, only 30% of the top corporate governance and ESG insights leaders in the table are from China. The 2,368 companies nominated across 18 sectors this year were rated on ten core areas, including ‘senior executives are accessible’ and ‘IR team is well informed and empowered to speak authoritatively on the company’s behalf’.