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Islamic Finance

Indonesian equity crowdfunder Bizhare Syariah to seek Series A funding for expansion

JAKARTA – Indonesian equity crowdfunder Bizhare Syariah will open a Series A funding round in the fourth-quarter to raise funds for expansion.

Bizhare started its Syariah division in July. Prior to this, the conventional crowdfunder  had 57,092 active investors at the end of June, a growth of 346% compared to the same month last year. The company is now seeking additional funds to expand its user base to 22 million in all, Gatot Adhi Wibowo, its co-CEO told Salaam Gateway.

“The market is huge, we want to aim for at least 10% of Indonesian Muslims after we secure the Series A funding,” he said.

“We want to educate more people about giving their contribution to accelerate the halal industry by being a part of our Sharia crowdfunding. Once they understand our Sharia equity/ securities crowdfunding, they can become investors,” Gatot added.

Most of Bizhare’s users are men aged from 25 to 45 and from Java and Sumatera.

The crowdfunder focuses on funding micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

“As you know, half of the 65 million MSMEs have limitations accessing capital for their business expansion. By raising Islamic share instruments in the market, I think this is our opportunity to help them,” said Gatot.

The company plans to release an app this month following a pre-Series A funding round in May when it secured around $520,000 from investors including AngelCentral, GK Plug and Play, GDILab, and Billy Boen.

The crowdfunder is working with the National Committee for Islamic Economy and Finance (KNEKS) to speed up the growth of small businesses in the halal industry by becoming an incubator for MSMEs to train them in legal issues, accounting, marketing, proposal design, business planning, as well as funding.

Since starting in July, Bizhare Syariah has so far disbursed 2 billion rupiah ($140,000) in funding for two issuers: the SALSA minimarket that will expand their network in all Islamic boarding schools across Central Java, and mini gas station company Pertashop in Muara Enim, South Sumatera.

The company will also disburse funding for several upcoming projects including Qomunitas Tani business (rice supplier), SPBU (gas station) with Azzikra Islamic boarding school, Pertashop with Al Ittifaqiah Islamic boarding school, as well as sukuk funding for MSMEs to export their products.

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