In what may be one of the largest seed rounds for a fintech startup in Malaysia, pre-launch startup MyMy has just raised RM12 million.
The total comes after an investment of RM10 million from Koperasi Angkatan Tentera Malaysia Berhad (Koperasi Tentera) coupled with existing investments.
MyMy is now valued at over RM50 million, and is this fresh round will provide them with the regulatory capital to apply for Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) e-Money license.
Founded in early 2018, the startup is currently taking applicants for its planned beta solution on its website, and will only launch once the license has been acquired.
Editor’s Note: Information in the above paragraph has been edited to reflect greater accuracy.
The startup allows users to change ringgit into 11 different currencies (with more to come) while having zero hidden fees and real-time exchange rates.
Using the app and an issued card, this means users can travel and shop hassle-free in over 200 countries.
The Prep For Great Ambition
Even pre-launch, the team is extremely ambitious.
MyMy COO and co-founder Kishore Samuel said that they plan to become Malaysia’s first unicorn and the world’s first shariah-compliant digital bank, adding that they’re not just another e-wallet.
Tunku Dato’ Ahmad Burhanuddin, MyMy Chairman said, “From its inception, MyMy has sought the expertise of shariah experts, forming a committee of academics and business leaders.”
“This has ensured that MyMy has been constructed from the very start to cater for ASEAN, and eventually, to the world’s 1.9 billion Muslim population.”
Acquiring BNM’s e-Money license is also the first step in the startup’s journey towards securing one of Malaysia’s highly sought-after digital banking licenses due to be released in 2021.
It won’t be easy, with so many other longer-established entities in Malaysia (and Singapore) expressing interest in acquiring one of the five licenses too.
However, MyMy CEO Joe McGuire is confident in their odds.
“Every applicant brings their own strengths and weaknesses. We are new which is a disadvantage, but we are the only team in Malaysia who has built all their core technology in-house. Our ability to ship product is second-to-none in this region,” he told Vulcan Post.
“In the consumer banking world, roughly 90% of revenue comes from this cash management and lending. Gaining a banking license is the surest path to profitability.”
A Strategic Partnership
Established in 1960, Koperasi Tentera is one of Malaysia’s leading credit co-operatives after its transformation from a military thrift and loan co-operative.
It has served nearly 160,000 members comprising Armed Forces personnel and civil servants working under the Ministry of Defence.
Under its deal with MyMy, it plans to introduce a number of new digital financial services to its members and their families over the next 12 months.
“These include digitising dividend pay-outs (in lieu of issuing cheques), providing digital accounts and e-wallets. We are also looking at offering multi-currency solutions for members travelling outside Malaysia, post COVID-19,” Koperasi Tentera CEO Brigadier General Dato’ Ahmad Zahudi said in a joint statement.
Aside from acquiring an e-Money license from BNM, Joe also shared that MyMy will be using a portion of the seed funding to expand their team in Malaysia and their footprint in ASEAN.
“We hope to have regulatory approval in a handful of other jurisdictions by the end of Q2 2021,” he added.
In all honesty, I find that what MyMy is doing to be very similar to what BigPay is already doing.
But as MyMy has yet to launch, I can’t comment with confidence on their similarities and differences.
Nonetheless, Joe believes that there is room in the market for multiple players and that maintaining good relationships with other fintech companies is possible.
- You can learn more about MyMy here, and Koperasi Tentera here.
- You can read about other startups who raised enough investor confidence to raise funding during the pandemic here.
Fetaured Image Credit: MyMy’s Kishore Samuel, Tunku Dato’ Ahmad Burhanuddin and Joe McGuire, with Koperasi Tentera’s Brig. Gen. Dato’ Ahmad Zahudi Hj Salleh (Rtd), Maj Gen Dato’ Dato’ Zulkiflee Mazlan (Rtd) and Mohd Ghazali Abbas