By NUR HANANI AZMAN / Pic By HUSSIEN SHAHARUDDIN
SEDANIA Innovator Bhd continues to expand its ecosystems in financial technology (fintech), Internet of Things (IoT) and green-technology (greentech) segments, especially with the surge in demand created by the Movement Control Order (MCO) for Internet services.
Sedania’s sharing platform traffic indicated an increase in the amount of consumers needing Internet data packages since the MCO was announced on March 18.
Its founder and MD Datuk Azrin Mohd Noor (picture) said the group is eyeing opportunities that could further complement its tech ecosystems.
“We are talking to a few international developers of micro-hydropower turbines which may be suitable for usage and manufacturing in South-East Asia,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR).
Recently, Sedania partnered Curlec Sdn Bhd to enable direct debit e-mandate in its personal finance platform Assidq.com last week.
Sedania’s fintech segment contributed 25.4% to group revenue in 2019, IoT solutions (7.42%), greentech (51.7%) and the sharing platform the remaining 15.47%.
Azrin said Sedania entered 2020 with a bullish vision and a promising product line-up to support, but has to suspend the sales activities of some of its products until further notice.
“In the past eight weeks, we have all learned about a new situation which none of us have ever experienced before. I don’t think any of us would have the courage to say we are bullish about our 2020 earnings,” he said.
Azrin said Internet plans provided by sharing platforms serve to highlight the importance of data sharing.
Sedania provides a sustainable innovative solution through As-Sidq, which is a digital business solution for financial institutions, during this Covid-19 pandemic period where digital banking is needed more than ever.
“Our Islamic fintech platform is, however, down in traffic as it is linked to our clients’ business and banks are currently disbursing less personal finance than before the pandemic,” he explained.
Banks can resume full operations now for processing operations, but the approval criteria will be tightened (as the economic condition needs to be stabilised). Furthermore, only selected sectors will offer a safe segment for the banks to approve loan applications such as government-linked companies and multinational companies.
Azrin said the group’s greentech business is reliant on physical access to its client’s sites, and hence, with projects currently deferred, Sedania aims to make up the lost time later this year.
“That being said, we do not expect the delays to bring any major impact to the group,” he said.
Apart from the sharing platform and fintech segments, Sedania has ownership of an eSports arm Esports Players League (ESPL), with the economy being generated within the electronic space.
The spike in demand for online entertainment including eSports/ online tournaments as people are confined in their homes has given Sedania a digital advantage.
In fact, ESPL has found itself to be in a sweet spot, as the antidote for the current global stay at home policy.
Regardless of when the MCO is ending, the eSports industry has been on the rise in the past years and will continue to rise on a global scale, said Azrin.
“Our ESPL’s partnership with Paytm First Games is a huge step towards the sort of interaction that we can foster. Paytm is the largest fintech company in India with more than 450 million registered users,” he said.
The first ESPL season is scheduled from June to November of this year, with concrete details coming soon. To date, ESPL has signed partnership agreements in Malaysia, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and India.
The global movement restriction period, Azrin said, reaffirms the group’s belief that consumer behaviour is shifting towards the digital arena.
“With the investments from the likes of 500 start-ups and collaboration with Paytm, Sedania is already enjoying capital growth from enhanced valuations of ESPL and its growing user base,” said Azrin.
Sedania shares closed 5.7% higher at 18 sen on Wednesday, valuing the company at RM46.47 million.