MADCash, a homegrown fintech startup providing microfunding to women entrepreneurs, announced the successful completion of its Pre-Series A funding round in an October 3 press release.
It has secured a RM5 million investment led by Artem Ventures, supported by MSW Ventures and ScaleUp Founders Fund.
The fresh funds will be used to enhance the company’s online platform using AI technology, cover operational and marketing expenses, and explore expansion opportunities in the Southeast Asia region, the release stated.
Nuraizah Shamsul Baharin, the managing director of MADCash, also said in the release that the team has “so much in the work pipeline”, which includes launching the MADCash Academy.
Along with this funding, MADCash has also welcomed Musyrifah Malek as a co-founder. Musyrifah boasts an extensive legal background that the team believes will be pivotal in advancing the company’s corporate governance policy and practices.
Multiply, assist, donate
The MAD in MADCash stands for Multiply, Assist, Donate, reflecting the business’ goal of funding and supporting unbanked and underbanked women entrepreneurs.
Instead of just giving out money, MADCash also aims to create an alternative credit scoring to increase the entrepreneurs’ future bankability.
One of two founders, Nuraizah, is a seasoned technopreneur who has built and led companies that create software and mobile apps. She was also the president of the Women Entrepreneur Network Association Malaysia (WENA).
Meanwhile, Dr. Nikolai, who is an angel investor and advisor for MADCash, boasts plenty of experience in mega projects in Malaysia, such as the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) and Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ).
The founders told Vulcan Post in 2022 that the idea for MADCash started around April 2020, during the beginnings of the pandemic.
At the time, the team saw that women entrepreneurs were struggling to restart their micro businesses after the first lockdown, and thus RM3,000 was distributed to three ladies.
The entrepreneurs ended up making RM17,000 in total the very next month.
Motivated by this, they continued the effort while refining how they worked, and eventually grew into the MADCash of today.
Continuing to uplift female entrepreneurs
With this round of funding, MADCash will be able to continue to not just finance but educate more women entrepreneurs, such as through its academy.
Explaining the decision to invest in MADCash, Tunku Omar Asraf, the principal of Artem Ventures said, “MADCash recognises the importance of financial inclusion for closing the gap of poverty and gender inequality, which can lead to better economic growth in the SEA region.”
Meanwhile, MSW Ventures general partner Jeffrey Seah said that supporting the unbanked and underbanked has been a digital economy problem, one that has been searching for a sustainable solution.
“Nuraizah has demonstrated a strong grasp of the complex and ever-changing agendas amongst the institutional and strategic stakeholders, forging a programme-based business model that can serve to realise the potential of women entrepreneurs, providing them with a level of self-sufficiency beyond sustenance,” he said.
Renuka Sena, a senior partner at ScaleUp Malaysia, shared how Nuraizah had joined ScaleUp’s accelerator last year.
“When she joined our accelerator programme in 2022, MADCash had only supported 83 women with just US$20K as microfunds,” Renuka said.
“Since then, her team has really focused on raising more funds under management to US$700K and improving their processes to deploy funds to more deserving women.”
By the end of this year, MADCash is set to have extended its support to over 800 women. Among its partners are notable financial institutions such as Hong Leong Islamic Bank and PayNet, the release stated.
The RM5 million investment into MADCash will not only fund the startup itself, but go towards supporting a whole ecosystem of entrepreneurs too.
We’ve reached out to the MADCash team to learn more about what’s next for them following this funding, and will be updating the article accordingly.
Featured Image Credit: MADCash