Elevating small businesses through financial inclusion

By Dania Aziz

Founded by three Malaysians with a combined 40-year-experience in finance and technology, Pantas aims to aid SMEs by providing a level playing field in terms of financial, economic, and social opportunities. Its Chief Operating Officer (COO) Nurul Syaheedah Jes Izman shares with GRADUAN® its key services to help small businesses.

Businesses involve billing, invoicing, and payment process. For most organisations, particularly SMEs, these processes can be time consuming and tedious. SMEs also have a hard time acquiring affordable funding.

With Pantas, SMEs can now save time and resources, reduce error, and get paid faster. Besides offering free software to help small businesses automate their billing, invoicing, and payment procedures, Pantas also provides innovative financing solutions, allowing SMEs to obtain capital at a low cost.

As explained by Nurul Syaheedah Jes Izman, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Pantas, this fintech start-up is funded by local and international investors who previously backed technology firms such as Ant Financial, Bill.com, Shopee (SEA Limited), PayPal, and Zoom. In March 2021, Pantas raised more than RM6 million from these investors. Its software was launched to the public for free on May 31st, 2021.

At Pantas, everything is moving swiftly, from rolling out ideas to the process of invoicing and financing, hence the name which means rapid in English.

The inspiration to start Pantas sprang when its CEO Max Lee had to deal with the inefficient and time-consuming process of invoicing, billing, and payments, and the difficulty to obtain financing when he was running his previous start-up Pyxis in New York City. After Pyxis was acquired by Bain, an American management consultancy, Max decided to work on solutions to solve these problems by teaming up the other two co-founders to start Pantas as he noticed the issues he faced were more widespread in Southeast Asia.

To introduce the brand to the market and establish it as a trustworthy brand, Pantas focused on search engine optimisation (SEO) by regularly updating its blog content to keep users updated, and collaborates with universities like University Malaya, and other organisations to build the brand. “Pantas invests in user satisfaction through collaborations with its partners and investors, and personalised demonstrations that are catered to its potential users,” shares Syaheedah.

The first of its kind

Pantas differentiates its business by providing innovative, customised, and localised solutions to support businesses. There is no other company that offers financing on top of free billing and invoicing.

“Pantas listens closely to its users and is constantly developing features and solutions to meet their needs,” Syaheedah says. The progress of technology and the widespread use of cloud computing have substantially reduced the cost of launching a fintech firm, allowing more pockets of sectors that were previously left behind in the economy to have greater access to financial services.

As a start-up, it is intricate to propose a new solution as businesses are accustomed to their existing technique. Convincing companies to digitalise and automate their current manual operations on a new platform takes time.

To overcome this problem, Pantas collaborates with government agencies, financial institutions and other key partners to educate the public on the advantages of its cloud-based solution. The company also organises webinars and demonstrates to businesses how simple it is to use Pantas, encouraging current users to share how Pantas has helped and improved their business operations.

Career development at a start-up

Start-ups provide a fast-paced working atmosphere with an open culture, making them an ideal workplace for people who seek a challenging yet rewarding career. “It teaches you to be agile, question conventional wisdom, explore radical ideas, and execute them at lightning speed,” explains Syaheedah.

You will get the opportunities to develop a diverse set of skills that would pave the way for your future career advancement. In Pantas, you are given the freedom to express and function in your own unique way with support and advice as needed.

Pantas’ mission is to build a world-class organisation that values diversity, excellence, and trust. Pantas encourages its members to adopt a growth mindset while equipping them with the resources they need to succeed and become the best version of themselves. All members are family to Pantas and here, we work hard to achieve our common goals.

Pantas functions on five core values — Dream Big, One Team, Ownership and Accountability, Growth Mindset and most importantly, Impatient Optimism. Pantas members are encouraged to test their limits and take risks. Everyone at Pantas is eager to learn and humble enough to recognise that there is always room for improvement. They take pride in their work and strive to meet their KPIs to the best of their abilities.

Pantas intends to deploy its one-of-a-kind financing solution in the next 12 months in collaboration with one of the world's top fintech businesses and has plans to expand its reach beyond Malaysia.

If this piques your interest, find out more at www.pantas.com or send your CV to [email protected].

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