Funding platform CoAssets gets CMS licence

Singapore-based crowdfunding platform CoAssets has secured a capital markets service (CMS) licence, the firm said yesterday.

The requirement for the licence was introduced in June last year, when the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) firmed up the rules on platforms dealing with debt and equity. CoAssets submitted its application last December.

It matches investors with small and medium-sized enterprises and property developers looking to raise between $100,000 and $5 million in funds.

With the licence, CoAssets will be able to once more engage its more than 55,000 users in Singapore, it said. While waiting for the licence, its operations here had focused on short-term loan product and event businesses.

The firm was set up here in 2013, and is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

In March, CoAssets said it was reviewing its Australian operations and had halted its crowdfunding and fund management businesses there owing to regulatory changes.

"Since MAS announced in June 2016 that crowdfunding must be licensed, the CoAssets team has been working hard behind the scenes to apply for the CMS licence in Singapore, while expanding our presence in (mainland) China and Hong Kong," chief executive and co-founder Getty Goh said in a statement.

Its 151,000 users in China now make up more than two-thirds of CoAssets' base, said chief operating officer Lawrence Lim, and the company has singled out the Chinese market for international growth. Mr Lim told The Straits Times: "Our growth in China has been phenomenal over the last six months."

Last year, CoAssets earned $453,770 in revenue, down from about $1.87 million the year before, which it attributed to the slowdown in Singapore operations pending the award of its CMS licence. It posted a net loss of about $3.84 million - on the back of one-time costs over its international expansion, it said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2017, with the headline 'Funding platform CoAssets gets CMS licence'. Print Edition | Subscribe