The Malaysian digital payment startup MyMy, that aims to become the first unicorn in the country, notched MYR 10 million (USD 2.4 million) in a seed round from Malaysian Armed Forces Cooperative (Koperasi Angkatan Tentera Malaysia Bhd), a credit cooperative formed for the welfare of former Malaysian armed forces members.
The fresh capital will provide MyMy the regulatory capital needed to apply for an e-money license from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). Combined with Koperasi Tentera’s latest injection and existing investments, MyMy’s seed round has totalled MYR 12 million (USD 2.9 million).
The startup will introduce an array of digital financial services to the members of the Armed Forces over the next 12 months, including digitized dividend pay-outs in lieu of checks, digital accounts, and e-wallets, according to Koperasi Tentera CEO Ahmad Zahudi Salleh.
“This is the first step in our journey towards securing one of Malaysia’s highly sought after digital banking licenses due to be released in 2021,” said MyMy CEO Joe McGuire. All e-wallet operators in Malaysia require an e-money license from the regulator to spend and transfer money to third parties. Founded in 2018, MyMy positions itself as the first shariah-compliant digital bank in the world.
Bank Negara Malaysia already issued 48 non-bank e-money licenses, including to strong regional players such as GrabPay, Alipay, and WeChat. After the new virtual banking licensing framework was issued last December, the country’s fintech industry is poised to experience a new round of disruption. According to a report by research firm PWC, 74% of Malaysians are interested in becoming a customer of a virtual bank.