Malaysian start-up and service provider Products2U has received an investment from Free Malaysia Today (FMT) and Winacore Capital through the FMT accelerator programme. The FMT accelerator programme invests into high potential ventures and start-ups with existing products and revenue, as well as a full time dedicated team. It aims to supercharge these start-ups through media and cash investment.
Products2U’s founders, Farhan Khairol Anuar and Faez Ridzal Hasnan, started the company last year when they realised that they had the potential to bridge the gap between the rural areas and cities by improving accessibility to products, services, opportunities, and conveniences. The start-up aims to facilitate online commerce for underserved offline communities, and the investment will enable it to expand into new regions in Malaysia and bring new offerings on board its platform, according to a statement from Free Malaysia Today.
Products2U currently allows businesses and agents to expand their product and service offerings to their local communities through its platform with utility bill payment solutions, digital loan applications, prepaid gaming credits and medical insurance applications, with many more products and services in the pipeline. These businesses and agents are also to use Product2U’s platform without any upfront costs or requirements to hold inventory. It now serves more than 1,000 businesses including mini-marts and sundry shops, roadside stalls, and individual reseller agents.
“With FMT’s and Winacore Capital’s investment, we will be going full steam ahead in rolling out our offerings to more businesses and agents all across Malaysia,” Anuar said.
Meanwhile, FMT’s MD and CEO, Azeem Abu Bakar, said: "Products2U as a venture aiming to deliver true value to the offline community in Malaysia is something we are excited to get behind and support." He explained that Products2U's "impressive market traction" combined with FMT’s media firepower will enable FMT to “supercharge” Product2U’s growth.
Additionally, Winacore Capital’s founder and investment director, Ashwin Chockalingam, said on his LinkedIn that Products2U has the right ingredients to succeed. "Products2U’s business model has in most part been tried and tested in other developing countries, but the execution in the Malaysian market is certainly challenging. We look forward to supporting Products2U in its journey to facilitate online commerce within underserved offline communities in Malaysia," he said.
The investment into Products2U by FMT and Winacore Capital marks the second investment via the FMT accelerator programme. Previously, FMT announced its collaboration with Mart Expo, a network of artists from around the world, to promote their work which will be minted into NFTs. The collaboration was launched alongside the launch of the FMT accelerator programme.
With APAC shifting from "the factory of the world" to a region with huge potential for start-ups and businesses, more venture capitals and investment firms have been into the booming start up ecosystem in APAC. In Singapore, Singtel planned to invest an additional US$100 million into Singtel Innov8, its corporate venture arm. Innov8 invests in start-ups that align with Singtel Group businesses in the areas of 5G, Artificial Intelligence, the digital economy, sustainability, cyber security and emerging technologies.
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