5 October 2022, Kuala Lumpur– Fintech entrepreneur Umar Munshi has won the Royal Award For Islamic Finance (RAIF) Emerging Leader Award for his trailblazing efforts to develop fintech for Islamic finance and the impressive development of his company Ethis, a pioneer Islamic fintech co-founded with Ronald Yusuf Wijaya in 2014. The award ceremony was graced by Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Binti Mohd Yunus, Governor, Bank Negara Malaysia, and Datuk Seri Awang Adek Hussin, Chairman, The Securities Commission Malaysia at the Global Islamic Finance Forum (GIFF) 2022 held in Kuala Lumpur.
This award recognises young international talent who have contributed outstandingly to advancing innovative ideas in Islamic finance. The winner was selected by an international selection committee panel comprising esteemed academicians and industry practitioners.
“I am humbled by this award and hope it will propel Ethis and Islamic fintech to greater heights. I was inspired by the principles and approach of Islamic finance when I discovered it in 2011 and since then have made it my and our mission to bring innovative solutions from Islamic finance to benefit the world,” Umar said.
“It is not easy being the first-mover. We have survived and thrived due to the investment and incredible support of our shareholders, 110 talents spread across 10 countries, our ever-growing community of crowdfunders from 84+ countries, and of course our regulators. I am especially appreciative of the wisdom and direction provided by our shareholders and directors who are from many countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar, and accomplished individuals who are former and current CEOs or senior management of reputable banks and investment firms, Shariah and finance experts and corporate leaders. Together, we are building a capital market platform where businesses, institutions, and individuals from around the world can come together to invest in and raise funds directly from each other, based on Islamic principles to fuel and spur the real economy,” he added.
An entrepreneur for two decades, Umar co-founded Club Ethis in 2014, an Islamic private investment club that evolved into a Fintech firm a year later. Ethis gained early traction by matching individual investors from more than 84 countries to invest in affordable housing projects in Indonesia. Ethis, now based in Malaysia, has grown to be a formidable group of fintech investment and crowdfunding platforms with licences in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Oman. Its platforms allow individual and institutional investors to gain access to a range of direct investment opportunities in companies and projects.
Ethis has set a number of precedents in Islamic fintech. It is the first Shariah-compliant equity crowdfunding platform in Malaysia and is now in the initial stage of deploying EthisX, a global Ethical Private Capital Market Platform, regulated in the Sultanate of Oman. It is scaling up rapidly in Indonesia, where its short-term Musharakah financing projects are growing steadily with global and local retail investors and a number of local institutional funders. In Malaysia, Ethis is building momentum with recent issuances on its equity crowdfunding platform oversubscribed.
Islamic fintech overall is growing at 18% a year globally, a faster rate than the wider fintech market. Growth is driven by real-world financing gaps, strong demand from users, and the ESG component embedded in Islamic finance. This has caught the attention of VCs, and governments, especially in Islamic finance centres.
“In the recent 2 years, a number of our fintech founder friends secured large investments from notable institutions and VCs. It is timely for Ethis to join forces with institutions that see the opportunity we have to build rapidly on our traction in our focus markets in Southeast Asia and the GCC, while exploring the unprecedented opportunity to enter new markets and explore offering unique investment opportunities. We want to drive the effective and impactful circulation of capital in the real economy. We have the people, licenses, goodwill, and key infrastructure to strive forward,” added Umar.
The Ethis founders also lead efforts to develop the sector and ecosystem. Umar is the Chairman of the Islamic Fintech Alliance founder’s group and Ronald is the President of the Shariah Fintech Association Indonesia (AFSI), a recognised sub-regulatory body.
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NOTE TO EDITORS:
ABOUT ETHIS GROUP
Ethis Group operates crowd-investment platforms approved by regulators in Indonesia, Malaysia and Oman.
Our platforms serve ordinary people, high-net-worth individuals, corporate, and government entities. Ethis built our initial track record from 2016 to 2020 in social housing in Indonesia where our global community of investors from more than 50 countries funded development projects to build close to 10,000 homes. We recently launched EthisX, the cross-border Ethical Private Capital Market Platform.
Since the onset of COVID-19, we have launched popular new investment products, including short-term, high-yield supply-chain financing projects in Indonesia and equity investment in ‘future tech’ startups in Malaysia. Our social finance marketplace GlobalSadaqah plays a vital role in matching donors and Islamic economy players to better distribute social finance and zakat to NGOs and social enterprises. EthisX aims to address the lack of availability of Shariah-compliant and ethical alternative funding and financing in emerging and developed non-Muslim countries with sizeable enough Muslim populations.
We exist to #circulategood. Our deep desire to create a more ethical form of finance to uplift humanity has attracted significant finance and community leaders to support our vision and mission.
For more information about Ethis Group, please visit https://ethis.co
For media enquiries, please contact:
Senior Manager, Marketing and Communication
Ethis Global Sdn. Bhd
Tel: +6 011 1639 0920
Afiqah Abdul Aziz
Public Relation and Marketing Executive
Ethis Global Sdn. Bhd
Tel: +6 012 304 5041