FinTech or Financial Technology is innovation in how people transact businesses. It can be the invention of digital money or double-entry bookkeeping. FinTech has evolved and is bringing to the world easy and convenient services at hand. It can be a variety of financial services, like transfer of money, or applying for credit or any other financial services, people have now become increasingly aware of FinTech.
Getty Goh, with his co-founder Dr. Seh Huan Kiat, started CoAssets, a crowdfunding platform that connects borrowers and lenders across Asia of quanta below $5 million. CoAssets Pte Ltd is Asia’s leading FinTech platform, connecting investors with real estate developers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the Asia Pacific to explore investment opportunities and expansion.
Founded in Singapore since July 2013, CoAssets has more than 574,000 registered clients and users, and a regional presence with outbound offices in Australia, China, and Hong Kong. The company headed by co-founders Getty Goh and Dr. Seh Huan Kiat, with the strategic intent of enabling prudent investments through clever financial technology accessible to investors of diverse capital base tranches. Through the use of cutting-edge technology-based solutions, clients are able to harness the best of what regional financial markets have to offer and be part of an innovative consumer journey available only at CoAssets.
“Being in business for six years, I learnt that there is a high demand for investments beyond traditional stocks and shares. Now, my inspiration for CoAssets is to connect these investors to a wide range of non-traditional investment opportunities.”
CoAssets- The Company-
CoAssets offers investors with opportunities to invest in investment opportunities, which were customarily dominated by accredited investors/institutional investors. These are fundamentally no different from the traditional SME deals that other platforms service. However, the main difference is the focus sector. Given the current market situation, CoAssets is looking at counter-cyclical industries. Hence, things at low cost, entertainment (i.e. movies) are examples of deals investors can find on their platform.
Clients of CoAssets comprise of entry-level retail investors to high-net-worth individuals and institutions wanting to grow shareholder value through prudent capital enhancement. To date, CoAssets has raised more than S$100 million and funded projects in more than 10 countries globally.
Challenges tend to appear in dozens when one decides to start something new, and if it is an enterprise in FinTech, there are no bounds. And as Mr. Getty Goh rightly says, “Being an entrepreneur is never easy.” Being an entrepreneur is akin to a multitasking problem solver who works in a big organization — your roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. As an entrepreneur, the “buck stops with you”. All problems are your responsibility. From operations, sales, training, HR, product, etc. the list goes on. Hierarchy proved the most challenging to navigate in such situations.
Through their strategic partnerships in sourcing for deals and robustly-structuring them, CoAssets strives to keep their defaults to a minimum. Also, the CoAssets team tags each investor to a dedicated Alternative Wealth Manager. These managers address their questions and concerns around the clock. Investors are at the heart of everything the company does. Having their Alternative Wealth Managers serve the investors in this manner is the company’s way of showing their sincerity to their investors. Besides that, there are no fees charged to investors at any point and no minimum balance required to open an account with CoAssets. Technology will continue to be an enabler.
“The essence is that finance is about people. If your investors do not trust you, the company cannot grow, no matter how grand the technology is.”
CoAssets has developed strong regional partnerships to source for diverse and unique deals which they then robustly-structure to list on their platform. CoAssets aims to mitigate risks as much as possible, and can proudly claim that their default rate was 0% in 2018 as per MAS calculations. The company is also always on the lookout for new technologies to implement as well to make the investment process better. CoAssets brings to its customer’s non-traditional deals to regular investors so that they have more options to make money, accumulate wealth and save for retirement.
“In CoAssets, we aim to cope with our competition by differentiating ourselves through the products that we offer.”
For example, there recently was a project which allowed retail investors to invest in Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo 5 movie with as low as $5,000. There are hardly any other wealth platforms that offer such unique products that were previously not widely available to them. Who knows, maybe our investors will one day get a chance to invest in a Marvel film.
The CoAssets Family-
Creating a healthy work environment includes monetary incentives and exponential growth opportunities despite the number of working experience. CoAssets practices having a flat corporate structure to promote low power distance between each staff.
“I believe that this supports open communication. Another way that I try to implement is blind hiring, and that means hiring with diversity despite age or gender and evaluate them based on potential rather than circumstances.”
The company believes in working hard and playing hard. For example, if the employees hit their targets before the deadline, they are given extra days of paid leave on top of their annual leave. Those additional days off can be as long as 1-2 weeks. This also helps in boosting the productivity of the employees at work.
Apart from that, CoAssets is a very family-oriented firm. When an employee needs to decide between work and family, the prime focus is always given to the family. Only with a happy and fulfilling family will the employees be able to concentrate on work and do his/her best. Admittedly, this was something the company could not afford to do when it first started. However, now that CoAssets is on a firmer financial footing, these are benefits that they can give their employees.
“Investors are at the heart of everything we do”.
This is a belief that CoAssets has held firmly to their hearts as they would not have been able to achieve such remarkable accomplishments without the investors. Admittedly, doing what they do is not rocket science. As long as the company sincerely helps their investors make money, let them have minimal defaults and genuinely care for them, they will appreciate it and stick with CoAssets.
CoAssets’ slate of accolades includes Gold Winner of 2014 OPP Awards for Best Innovation, Top 100 Winner for the 2014 Red Herring Asia, a finalist for MAS FinTech Awards 2016, and a nominee for Singapore HRM Awards 2017 as Best SME Employer of the Year.