- Gets lots of love from impact investors for its equity crowdfunding campaign
- Empowered by conscientious people determined to witness change in the way people learn
WHEN Rashvin Singh, the CEO of Mereka Innovative Education, and his co-founders started thinking about raising funds for their alternative education venture, they were worried if they would be able to attract investors. Me.reka is a mashup of a social enterprise and commercial business and they naturally worried if investors would hesitate to back their ambitious venture.
The Me.reka team was in the midst of building an innovative and alternative education venture centred around a Makerspace in Publika, which would ultimately grow into an education business that will challenge the limits of 21st Century designing and making. The team’s dream was to build an impact-driven enterprise that would provide an inclusive space for people from all backgrounds with access to state-of-the-art tools, industry expertise and educational programs. They had chosen the name “Me.reka”, which is the Malay word which stands for both a reference to a collective, and also a verb referring to the action of creating.
His fears turned out to be unnecessary. Rashvin approached pitchIN early in 2018 to explore raising US$238,000 (RM1 million) to scale.
Sam Shafie, the CEO of pitchIN says that the team loved the idea of an alternative education venture running an ECF campaign, “Equity Crowdfunding is an alternative funding service and we thought that it was great that an alternative education venture planned to raise money through equity crowdfunding. We were happy to assist them. We looked at their business plans and we found that Me.reka was actually a very good business proposition. The Me.reka team was not only helping youths and others to become familiar with new ways of building things, it was a very sustainable and profitable business. We helped them to get their investment offer and related documents in order and got down to marketing it.”
Rashvin and team also did a lot of heavy lifting on the ECF campaign marketing too. They reached out to people they knew might be interested in building fresh education ventures, youth development and so on. Events were organised, together with an online campaign that reached out beyond Malaysia. Rashvin found that plenty of people were interested in what they were doing and were willing to become investors.
By the end of the campaign, all expectations were exceeded. Instead of the US$238,000 (RM1 million) they originally sought, Me.reka successfully raised US$381,379 (RM1,601,764) from 121 investors. In the process, they also enlarged their community base.
Rashvin, also a DNA Digerati50, was delighted, “We’re overwhelmed with the love we received from investors. Not only have we raised the capital we need to expand, the process of doing that through ECF has resulted in an army of evangelists for our cause. Our investors are not passive, they are actively helping us to realise the dream of making education more immersive, yet anchored in our principles of sustainability, creativity and innovation. This means that we have been entrusted and empowered by conscientious people who are determined to witness change in the way we learn, acquire knowledge and engage each other as well as the world around us.”