Ethical and Islamic investment, and social finance platform operator Ethis Group has on Tuesday re-launched the Ethis Super Angel (ESA), rebranding it as the ESA Syndicate this year.

Initially started as a network within the Ethis community in 2020, ESA is a private group of angel investors from across the globe that invests in Shariah-compliant startups with the potential for huge financial returns.

So far, it has activated close to 50 angel investors to invest $3 million in nine startups, according to Ethis statement.

This year, under a new structure, the ESA Syndicate will be led by four well-known expert ESA Syndicate leads, who are also board members of the Ethis Group.

These include Ethis Investment Management Director Amran Mohd, Dinar Founder and Chief Executive Officer Khaled Fouad, BETA Foundation Chief Executive Officer and Founder Lilyana Abdul Latif, and Ethis Founder and Group Managing Director Umar Munshi.

The program’s reintroduction ties in with Ethis’ recent foray into venture capital through its partnership with Gobi Partners, a top-tier early-stage venture capital in Asia with more than 300 companies in their portfolio and $1.5 billion in asset under management (AUM).

Over time, ESA will explore and build synergies with the Gobi and other venture capitals that Ethis collaborates with.

“We understand that startup investing is exciting but not easy. As a Syndicate, ESA will address two challenges faced by many angel investors—the lack of time and the lack of experience investing in such an asset class,” said Umar.

The ESA Syndicate is by invitation only for angel investors who are looking for promising startups focused on the Muslim world and halal sectors, with a special interest in fintech, finance, and investment products, agrotech, halal food distribution, and the economy as well as sustainable and impactful social enterprises. ESA pays special focus on Camel Startups as a sub-category of startups that it will invest in.

ESA members also get access to exclusive startup deals, discounted valuations, and shared bonuses.

“We must step up and start investing more in Muslim founders and Shariah-compliant startups. Lack of access to funding for startups is a huge gap in the Islamic finance universe. The silver lining is that there’s a surge in exciting startups and solutions that are both commercially viable and also #CirculateGood,” Umar said.

Since 2014, Ethis has been providing investment access to SMEs and startups by tapping into its deep network of the halal and circular economy, fintech and capital markets, and the startup ecosystem. Last year alone, Ethis facilitated more than one hundred angel investments to invest in startups such as Accelerate Global, Baloy, and Octowill to name a few.

Ethis operates investment platforms approved by regulators in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Muscat together with the charity platform GlobalSadaqah.

Its platforms serve ordinary people, high-net-worth individuals, and corporate, and government entities. It built its initial track record from 2016 to 2020 in social housing in Indonesia where our global community of investors from more than 50 countries funded development projects to build close to 10,000 homes.

Since the onset of COVID-19, Ethis has launched popular new investment products, including short-term, high-yield supply-chain financing projects in Indonesia and equity investment in ‘future tech’ startups in Malaysia.

Its social finance marketplace GlobalSadaqah plays a vital role in matching donors and Islamic economy players to better distribute social finance and zakat to non non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and social enterprises.

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