Three promoters register with crowdfunding platform

Three promoters have registered with the Bhutan crowdfunding platform so far. Some others have shown interest and are yet to be vet.

Bhutan crowdfunding is the first digital platform developed by the Royal Securities Exchange of Bhutan (RSEB).

Bhutan crowdfunding aims to provide an alternate financing model for start-ups, new business ventures and cottage and small industries (CSI) to access funds from the general public.

The platform offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to raise funds for their new businesses and at the same time provides new investment avenues for the public.

The three promoters registered so far include Bhutan Alternatives, Freelancer Bhutan and Himalayan food. 

They have floated equity share of 30% of the required amount for face value of Nu 10 per share fora duration of two to three months.

As per the crowdfunding rules and regulations 2019 the promoters can raise upto Nu 5mn. However, RSEB requested for Nu 10mn as the capital size of CSI sector.

Bhutan Alternatives requires Nu 8.34mn to scale up the business.

The promoter of Bhutan Alternatives, Leki Dawa said that he required the amount to upgrade the product quality, to procure advanced machinery and technology.

He said that he also wants to meet the demand in the market.

“In the future we will also focus on re-manufacturing e-waste like laptop, printer, desktop, and other household items,” said Leki Dawa.

He said that though there is a risk factor involved in the equity share, in the long run his start up will have lots of advantages whereby the products with easy access to market and many shareholders.

In the future, he plans to export his products to South Asian countries. Right now, they are already exporting to India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Last year, Bhutan Alternatives earned a profit of around Nu 1.85mn.

Bhutan Alternatives (BA) is an e-Waste management project which was initiated with a goal for sustainable utilization of toner cartridge in the country. The company recycles used toner cartridges and sells them back to the people.

For the first two months they will put up the crowdfunding offer to the public and then to the institutions.

“There are some institutions that are willing to invest,” he said.

As of Friday the amount has reached to Nu 867830 for Bhutan Alternatives, Nu 8050 for Freelancer Bhutan and Nu 18030 for Himalayan Food. 

Meanwhile, the promoter of Freelancer Bhutan, Nima Moktan, said that they required an amount of around Nu 3mn.

He said that he needs to reach his services to the market.

He said with more number of shareholders, the services will reach to market easily.

Freelancer Bhutan operates as a Tech Hub which provides services in the global market through the freelance portal. Although, the services provided through a freelance portal is limitless which equates to opportunities, Freelance Bhutan, at present focuses on Programming and Technology

The promoter and co-founder of Himalayan food, Bikash Gurung said that they required a capital amount of Nu 7mn to diversify premium products, improve the quality of products and to bring in international standard packaging.

Himalayan Food produces varieties of Agri-based snacks by adding value to the raw-materials collected from locally grown fruits and vegetables. Himalayan food currently produces potato crispy with unique Bhutanese style flavoring and also produces premium products such as apple crispy, dry apple and banana crispy.

The chief executive officer (CEO) of RESB, Dorji Phuntsho said that crowd funding is a new way of financing to scale up business.

Individual can invest up to Nu 100,000 and institutions can also invest.

The CEO said crowdfunding is transparent, efficient and no bureaucratic process is involved.

He said that since there is higher rate of failure of start-ups, with the help of crowdfunding platform business will be viable.

The CEO also mentioned that currently the platform is only equity-based but in the future they will also come up with donation and reward-based crowdfunding.

“It is high time that Bhutan should be using such technology and platform rather than only for conventional banking,” said the CEO.

The CEO also mentioned that RSEB takes acommission of 1% of the total fund raised, while others in the international market take a commission of 5%.

Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu