Photo: The Halalvestor website is seen on the screen of a mobile phone. SALAAM GATEWAY/Emmy Abdul Alim

Islamic Finance

New e-marketplace for Islamic investment products launching by Q1 2020 in Indonesia

JAKARTA - A new online marketplace for Shariah-compliant investment products is launching soon in Indonesia.

Putri Madarina, the founder of new online marketplace Halalvestor, told Salaam Gateway she is finalising the mobile app and awaiting the decision of the Financial Services Authority (OJK) following the company’s application for a licence to operate.

“We hope to launch Halalvestor next quarter at earliest, or in the first quarter of 2020,” Putri Madarina told Salaam Gateway.

Halalvestor is currently seeking funding from investors and is looking for partners who want to open up more channels for Indonesians looking to invest in Islamic products.

There are currently more than 256 Islamic mutual funds sold directly by investment managers, according to Putri Madarina.

“As an Islamic mutual funds marketplace, we combine Islamic mutual funds products with other products such as Shariah-based gold,” she said.

In the capital market, there are currently 408 Islamic securities on the List of Islamic Securities issued by the Financial Services Authority (OJK) and supervised by the National Shariah Board of the Majelis Ulama Indonesia (DSN-MUI), the country’s top Islamic clerical body.

“We are aiming for around 5,000 active users in the first year after we launch,” said Putri Madarina.

Halalvestor will compete with current marketplaces Bukareksa, e-commerce major Bukalapak’s platform that offers both Islamic and conventional investment products, and Tamasia, which specialises in gold.

Ahead of its launch, Halalvestor is generating awareness and increasing public literacy on Islamic investments through social media campaigns, and working with Muslim youth communities via online classes and conferences.

The start-up says it attracted more than 2,000 participants for its events in a period of six months, and more than 500 registered users on its website.

“Our hope, of course, with more and more content on Islamic financial planning, the Muslim market in Indonesia will be more prepared to absorb our services which will be available soon,” said Putri Madarina.

“In terms of funds under management we hope to reach a value above the industry average,” she added.

Investment managers traditionally collaborate with banks to market their products, a method that relies heavily on the expertise of qualified marketers.

This method may be more suitable for older customers or those who are more financially-savvy and affluent, according to Putri Madarina.

Halalvestor is targeting the younger generation of Indonesians. 

“But for the younger market demographics, such as the millennial generation and generation Z, there needs to be a more attractive strategy in accordance with their behaviour, for example, they are more proactive in seeking information and at the same time they are after convenience, or the ease of buying products,” she said.

(Reporting by Yosi Winosa; Editing by Emmy Abdul Alim

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Yosi Winosa