Pertama Digital on a strong footing

PETALING JAYA: Pertama Digital Bhd is looking for more businesses to acquire as part of its overall strategy.

The company on its website describes itself as an investor and nurturer of “great fintech and govtech companies that build impactful, inclusive solutions in the digital and mobile space”.

Currently, via its subsidiary Television Airtime Services Sdn Bhd (TAS), it has a mobile payments app called MyPay, a digital court bail payment system called eJamin which is used in courts nationwide, and mySMS, which is a messaging service used by government agencies.

These are operated by Dapat Vista (M) Sdn Bhd, in turn a subsidiary of TAS.

Recently, the company also launched the MyPay Coin Deposit operations in an effort to bring back billions of ringgit into economic circulation.

Director of strategy Saify Akhtar said the company, previously known as Sinotop Holdings Bhd was looking for businesses which were in line with its overall goal of pursuing digitalisation.

“Yes, we are in the market for innovative businesses that are fully aligned with our mission to digitalise inclusively.

“Our deal flow is particularly strong because of the value proposition we bring to these businesses, often led by patriotic founders who want to make a difference,” he told StarBiz in an interview.

“Similarly, we have the support of reputable investors and financiers in the creation of our upcoming fund,” he said when asked how the company, which reported a net profit of RM940,000 for its most recent quarter, plans to fund its potential acquisitions.

Currently, the group’s revenue comes mostly from the public sector at 79%, with the remaining 21% generated from the private sector.

“Our business lines are built with revenue streams from the private sector like banks, the public sector like government agencies and the general public,” Saify said.

Pertama Digital, he added, is not overly exposed to any one specific sector.

“We are focused on supporting the government’s digitalisation agenda outlined in the MyDigital Blueprint and 12th Malaysia Plan.

“The strategy is to spearhead viable people-public-private partnerships, bringing key stakeholders together to solve big post-pandemic challenges,” he added.

Elaborating on MyPay coin conversion, he said it started off as a proof of concept exercise.

“Pertama Digital was seeking to prove that the public, in their flight to cashless transactions, needed better ways of converting their physical cash into usable funds in their bank accounts.

“We targeted the biggest pain point, those with large amounts of coins sitting at home,” he said.

According to him, the results have been “outstanding”.

He said Pertama Digital will be investing in deploying this service with both public and private sector partners across Malaysia and was targeting 200 locations in the next 12 months.

“This Pertama Digital innovation will accelerate Malaysia’s digital agenda inclusively, while reducing currency circulation costs and environmental impact at the same time.”

He noted Pertama Digital was operating in one of the fastest-growing sectors in emerging markets today, which is public sector digitalisation.

“We are monetising the digital divide, which is ever growing thanks to the exponential growth of the international tech sector,” he added.

At last look, the Pertama Digital stock was at 52.5 sen apiece, valuing the entire company at RM228mil.

These are operated by Dapat Vista (M) Sdn Bhd, in turn a subsidiary of TAS.


Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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