KASE to bring together startups and investors

ASTANA – The Kazakh stock exchange KASE will present startups to potential investors in early 2018, said Yevgenyi Mukhamedzhanov, managing director of the stock exchange.

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Mukhamedzhanov added that KASE will adopt the practice of other exchanges to create an information system to bring together entrepreneurs, business incubators and investors.

“There are investors who are ready to be officially introduced to the market and show their readiness to invest. However, they are not that many. KASE has experience and expertise, which enables the search of investors and interesting projects to be effective. We do not want to substitute other agents, we want to help development of startups,” said Mukhamedzhanov.

Exchanges worldwide are being more proactive in connecting businesses and investors, such as creating startup and crowdfunding platforms. For example, the Thailand stock exchange is expected to launch a startup platform this year. Larger stock exchanges, such as NASDAQ and LSE, have had startup platforms a long time ago. Mukhamedzhanov noted that, as a rule, those platforms attract not only local but foreign investors.

“Our platform will work in compliance with the single-window system, which will provide investors with the information concerning startups – the sector of their work and the amount of investments to be attracted. Only registered entrepreneurs will be allowed to enter the platform. This excludes a large stratum of those, who have brilliant ideas, but have nothing solid to offer to the investors,” Mukhamedzhanov said.

KASE will cooperate with business incubators that have already undertaken project expertise, the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs and akimats (regional and city administrations). Investors, in turn, will be obligated to receive accreditation from the stock exchange, but it will be given on liberal terms at the initial stage of the platform development. KASE has a commercial interest in the development of startup platform.

“We have a model for the monetisation of this project, but it is deferred for now. The main source of income for such platforms is the accreditation of investors and the percentage from the value of transactions that took place there,” explained the KASE managing director.

He added that foreign investors are interested in Kazakh startups due to the proximity to the Russian and Chinese markets, but they are not willing to invest until they see there is a pool of local investors.