Hailing from a family which runs a seafood processing plant in Johor, Xing Xiang observed a persistent issue within the supply chain between suppliers such as his family and their buyers (big supermarkets). This problem stems from how fishermen needed to be paid in cash terms and it has to be an immediate payment but the supermarket on the other hand, operates on an invoice basis which takes 60 to 90days. Between the 2-3 months for payment, a firm still needs to pay its employees and business needs to run as usual. The bigger the company, the longer they tend to push their payment terms for their smaller company suppliers. Unfortunately, this is very restrictive for small businesses and affects the business environment in Malaysia. CapitalBay is here to change the future of supply chain finance and provide a holistic solution to the issue!
While studying in United Kingdom, the idea of Capital Bay struck when he discovered a start-up in London which focused on solving a similar issue there. During a small networking event, his co-founders and him were noticed by Bank Negara. Xing Xiang admitted that while the initial discussion session with Bank Negara ended rather badly, the central bank saw potential in them and hundreds of hours of discussion followed which slowly shaped and finetuned CapitalBay as it is known today.
The status quo of supply chain financing and factoring in Malaysia prior to the existence of CapitalBay was that the awareness among Malaysians on such an alternative was low and banks are reluctant to partake in it as the paperwork is tedious. Banks require securities and collaterals before proceeding with such a financing, regardless of whether it is a low risk move or not. Customers too need to pay for stamp duties and other fees such as legal fees. This ends up chalking up the cost, rendering it as an unviable move for most firms.
With CapitalBay now, this complicated process is made simple through several steps. Firstly, CapitalBay has solved this issue for SMEs in Malaysia through a technical infrastructure which electronically connects the system to the banks, providing a two-way system to see transaction flows. Any trade transaction going around becomes paperless and transparent. Secondly, the legal infrastructure has been integrated as part of the platform, where documents can be signed electronically, with the use of biometric thumbprints. Lastly, there is the operational infrastructure which consists of education and awareness by Capital Bay to ensure all components of the process can be implemented in a smooth manner.
CapitalBay generates its revenue by charging a small fee for each transaction and disburses about RM1million of funding each month for this invoice service. As for expansion, the start-up is looking to create an infrastructure for invoices to be submitted digitally, eliminating the need for paper transactions. With this e-invoicing function, the focus will be on digitizing and automating the procure-to-payment process. This further enables a better way of supply chain financing and will change the business landscape for most SMEs in Malaysia.
With support from Bank Negara as well as Securities Commission alongside their venture capitalist investor KK Fund, CapitalBay holds strong potential of irreversibly changing the way supply chain works in Malaysia. Now, suppliers and banks alike can count on CapitalBay to innovate and streamline the supply chain finance to further boost Malaysian SMEs through a low-cost, easy-to-use and reliable platform that continuously improves itself over time.