Malaysia-based venture capital firms 1337 Ventures and Leet Capital are back to host the ECF Accelerator Program in the country to help Malaysian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) maximize opportunities through equity crowdfunding (ECF) fundraising.

1337 Ventures said in a statement on Wednesday that alternative financing is gaining popularity in Malaysia as a viable option for local businesses to raise funds.

This is evident as total funds raised in Equity Crowdfunding stood at MYR 560.34 million ($123.10 million) via 330 campaign as reported by the Securities Commission of Malaysia.

It said the ECF Accelerator Program is to support the alternative financing landscape.

According to the statement, the three-day fundraising bootcamp will guide up to 20 ambitious growth stage entrepreneurs on fundraising methods and strategies through venture capital, private equity, and ECF.

The bootcamp will cover stakeholder mapping, go-to-market strategy, financial modelling, marketing, pitching, and other topics necessary for launching a successful ECF campaign and fundraising exercises.

The culmination of this rigorous bootcamp will see the top three companies gaining an exclusive opportunity to showcase their potential at Leet Angel Club – a prestigious event is a strictly invite-only gathering of discerning angel and sophisticated investors, curated by the reputed Leet Capital.

“In the journey of fundraising, many SME entrepreneurs hit a wall when it comes to building solid financial models, crafting a bulletproof fundraising strategy, or nailing a killer pitch. That’s a real concern,” said Bikesh Lakhmichand, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of 1337 Ventures.

Bikesh, with his vast experience of propelling over 2,500 startups to their zenith, emphasized that Malaysian businesses aren’t short of potential.

“They just need the right pointers to understand the fundraising landscape. And yes, learning to pitch effectively to investors is a game-changer that many are missing out on in their capital raising efforts,” he added.

In 2022, the ECF Accelerator program had two successful cohorts that included homegrown companies from healthtech, eco-friendly beauty products, food and beverage (F&B), and more.

QMED Asia, the cohort 1 winner, raised over MYR 5 million ($1.1 million) in ECF from 110 investors on Leet Capital.

Arus Oil, from cohort 2, was recently invested in by Shell as an initiative to encourage Malaysians to recycle their used cooking oil and continue to provide cleaner and sustainable energy solutions.

Cohort 3 begins in August 2023 and will take place on August 4th, 11th, and 18th, 2023.

The program is supported by WORQ, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Digital Penang.

1337 Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on pre-seed and seed-stage investments in Malaysia and South East Asia.

Established in 2012, the firm is Malaysia’s first accelerator program.

Pioneering the design thinking methodology and design sprints in Malaysia, 1337 Ventures has utilized its learning to accelerate the growth of over 2,500+ startups from five different countries.

1337 Ventures sister company Leet Capital is an ECF platform.

Since being awarded its license by the Securities Commission in May 2019, the firm has been enabling investors to invest in highly vetted high growth businesses, whilst providing an avenue for high growth businesses to raise capital.

Leet Academy, its education arm, focuses to empower, educate and build resilient individuals through a series of workshops, mentorship and networking events in the areas of design thinking, pitching and agile ways of work.

Malaysian venture capital firm 1337 Ventures launches new $290,000 fund for Malaysian startups