NovelPlus makes strong debut on LEAP Market

by LYDIA NATHAN / graphic DZUL ASYRAF

NOVELPLUS Technology Bhd made a strong debut on the LEAP Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd yesterday, opening at 25 sen per share and hitting a high of 27.5 per share, well above its offer price of 15 sen per share. 

The company share price closed at 27.5 sen on its maiden trading day. 

The online social reading and writing platform developer and operator has an e-book library comprising over 37,000 published novels in the Malay language and Bahasa Indonesia with an ecosystem comprising over 2.1 million users, of which 10,000 are registered as writers and the rest are readers. 

Its CEO Crystal Lai said now that it has listed, the group is in a better position to focus on expansion plans and pursue future growth opportunities. 

She said among these include expansion plans to provide e-books in both Malay and Bahasa Indonesia, as well as other languages from South-East Asia. 

“E-books have seen a healthy growth from RM1.3 billion in 2016 to RM1.6 billion in 2019 which is a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5%. Moving forward, the e-book market size may register a CAGR of 6.4% between 2020 and 2022, to reach RM1.9 billion,” she said in a statement. 

Content from the platform can be accessed through its mobile application and web browser, where NovelPlus operates on a freemium model where readers can access the platform for free or pay a subscription fee to enjoy an advertisement-free reading experience. 

“The platform allows readers to browse and select e-books, personalise experiences and manage profiles, as well as interact with writers registered on the platform. Writers can write, edit and self-publish their serialised novels, build readerships, and receive reviews and tokens of appreciation from readers, while advertisers can also advertise on the mobile application and web browser, with the advertisements targeted towards users who are not subscribed,” Lai noted. 

Meanwhile, the Securities Commission Malaysia has made amendments to the Capital Market and 

Services Act (CMSA) 2007 and widened the categories of sophisticated investors, to include among others, individuals with investments of RM1 million in capital market products, either on their own or through joint accounts with their spouse; CEOs and directors of licensed or registered persons under the CMSA; and corporations that manage funds of their related companies with assets of more than RM10 million. 

The regulator noted that this move will allow more investors to expand their investment options while issuers can now tap into a larger pool of sophisticated investors. 

The LEAP market gets the bulk of its investors from the sophisticated investors class.