Adoption of peer-to-peer (P2P) financing has skyrocketed in Malaysia – this year RM159.56mil was raised, up from just RM17mil last year. Fundaztic chief executive officer Kristine Ng Wri Miem reveals P2P has been driven largely by younger users, as 59% of its investors are under 35. In comparison, 35 to 45 year olds made up 28%, 45 to 55 year olds made up 9% and those above 55 only made up 4%.
“I think the Millennials are open to investing, even if they don’t have much money. They don’t care that the issuers might be boring,” she says, pointing out that a funeral home was one of the issuers that was snapped up. (The issuer is the company or person seeking to raise an investment). She believes younger investors have less preconceptions about what to invest in and are more connected on their phones and computers when it comes to investing, often even outpacing automated buyers.
P2P financing platforms are a type of financial technology which allows investors to lend directly to individuals and businesses in return for attractive interest yields, as long as the borrower does not default. Fundaztic is among the six platforms appointed by the Securities Commission (SC) in 2016 – others include B2B FinPal, Kapital, FundedByMe Malaysia, ManagePay Services, Modalku Ventures (Funding Societies Malaysia).
Speaking at the SCxSC Digital Financing Conference, Ng says the growth in P2P investing comes down to greater trust in the platform and convenience – she likens it to online shopping for investments. She assures that the strict controls placed by the SC made such investments safer than in unregulated countries, proven by the fact that only 2% of the issuers defaulted on their loans.
According to preliminary crowdfunding statistics, as of October, P2P platforms ran 1,958 successful campaigns for 497 companies. The bulk of these campaigns raised funds above RM200,000 (57%).