Pan-Asian venture capital (VC) firm Gobi Partners announced that it has onboarded two fintech firms to its Gobi Superseed II Fund (Gobi SSII Fund).Earned Wage Access (EWA) service provider Paywatch and equity crowdfunding platform (ECF) pitchIN were among the four promising Malaysian startups that were chosen.

The other two startups were Islamic-themed streaming service Durioo+ as well as business-to-business e-commerce marketplace Lapasar.The US$10 million Gobi SSII Fund targets early-stage Malaysian startups and has invested in four other local companies since its launch in late 2020.The other local startups are Sunway Innovation Labs, TechNode, Speedhome and PolicyStreet

EWA service provider Paywatch’s solution helps employees bridge cash flow gaps between paychecks.The firm has has partnered with top-tier banks to foster  financial inclusion by helping unbanked and underbanked Malaysian workers gain access to the banking system.Paywatch’s financial inclusion efforts has been recognised by the UN Capital Development Fund, Bank Negara Malaysia, and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).The EWA solution is licensed and recognised by regulators in its operating markets – Malaysia, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Paywatch aims to continue frowing its product offerings, strengthen its presence in its existing markets while also accelerating expansion efforts into new Southeast Asian markets, including Indonesia and the Philippines.

“Paywatch aims to promote financial inclusion by helping workers achieve financial security and gain access to major banks. Employees that feel financially empowered and safeguarded by their employers have also shown a higher retention rate, contributing to better service and lower turnover rates in organisations.We are proud of what we have achieved since our launch in 2020, and are looking forward to expanding our services and adding more benefits to the platform in order to provide more holistic financial solutions to an underserved segment,”

said Patrick Hew, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Paywatch

Since its inception in 2016, pitchIN has raised in excess of US$65 million (RM280 million) on its ECF platform from over 7,600 individual investments made by retail and sophisticated investors to help fund 154 of Malaysia’s fast-growing companies.pitchIN will launch its Secondary Market and Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) platforms this year following approval from the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) in 2022.

It also received approval from SC to list Shariah-compliant campaigns on the ECF platform.pitchIN’s CEO Sam Shafie said that the company had been preparing to grow into a digital investments fintech hub with multiple offerings.

“We believe that IEO and the pitchIN Secondary Market will enable pitchIN to offer more fundraising options as well as add liquidity options for investors. That said, the upcoming Secondary Market and IEO are just the first on our roadmap.We look forward to launching even more services soon, not just in Malaysia but also regionally in countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.”

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