Eatcosys to expand fintech division, regional footprint ahead of Bursa IPO

March 11, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR: Eatcosys Sdn Bhd, a homegrown retail technology solutions provider, is expanding its financial technology (fintech) division ahead of its plan to undertake an initial public offering (IPO) on Bursa Malaysia, chairman and group chief executive officer Tham Lih Chung said. The company has also acquired a stake in Fundnel Malaysia, a market operator registered with the Securities Commission Malaysia, to provide retail and food and beverage (F&B) players with equity crowdfunding (ECF) services and access to more alternative funding solutions. "Currently, we are on track in our IPO plan and hoped to get our company listed in three years' time... there is no urgent need to do so this year. "Companies usually undertake IPO to raise funds. For us, we are able to obtain funding to expand our business via traditional capital funding, peer-to-peer lending, equity crowdfunding (ECF) campaigns and others. "There is no pressing need for an IPO at this moment. However, if the opportunity arises sooner, we will take advantage of it. We are still engaged in a variety of corporate exercises at this time and we hope to be able to go for it next year," he said. Founded on the belief tha t retail is the backbone of any economy, Eatcosys is on a mission to help the retail and F&B industry recover and thrive. Its F&B technology ecosystem, which has benefitted F&B firms since its inception in 2020, intends to help the micro, small, and medium enterprises obtain funding as they face difficulty in accessing banking services. Tham, who considers himself a serial entrepreneur, is optimistic about Eatcosys' growth as he projects significant exponential growth this year in light of the economy and borders' reopening. "We already have a modest percentage of businesses from outside Malaysia, including Indonesia and Singapore, but I foresee the contribution from other Southeast Asian countries to be far bigger this year than it was last year, in comparison to Malaysia. "The next milestone we want to achieve is regional expansion, and we are very keen to form furthe r partnerships with Indonesian businesses by bringing the solutions we have created to them," he said in an online interview with Bernama recently. The company, he said, had started exploring nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse, which are set to open up more solutions and go-to platforms for the F&B and retail industry. "However, for the time being, we are concentrating on wha t we do best — retail and fintech. If our clients would like to advance, NFTs and metaverse will be used to complement our solutions," he added. Last year, Eatcosys raised RMlO million through an ECF campaign with Fundnel, but this year, the company will focus on institutional funds and securing strategic investors with larger capacity to fulfil the special demands and needs of larger organisations. Eatcosys aims to reignite the local F&B industry by launching a numbe r of new initiatives to spur growth and generate additional revenue for the operators as they resume full operations. It has launched the Malaysians Eat Out 1.0 (MEO 1.0) campaign to revitalise the F&B business by incentivising Malaysians to dine in a diversity of F&B outlets. The company has rolled out a broad selection of appealing F&B vouchers as part of the campaign, which can be accessed via the new FoodAdvisor mobile app. FoodAdvisor is a wellknown online food listing and discovery platform. "With the restrictions easing nationwide, we are confident tha t MEO 1.0 and the FoodAdvisor mobile app will reenergise the F&B industry by attracting more customers while addressing existing and new challenges brought by the pandemic. "We hope to spark the comeback for casual dining by offering great deals to consumers and providing F&B operators with better visibility and more sales. Malaysians will also have plenty of food options to choose from, at their fingertips," Tham said. — Bernama