Dear shareholders,

I am pleased to share that we have enjoyed another remarkable year in FY2021 with significant developments in our business. The strong building blocks that we have been working relentlessly to put in place last year by devoting 100% of our effort and energy into our digital transformation strategy, are now firmly in place.

While it had always been our strategy to move to an online platform, riding on the acceleration of digitalisation and technology and amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, 8VI successfully transitioned from an offline education provider to an integrated FinEduTech platform in 2020.

This changed the way in which we conducted business significantly, given our ability to touch even more lives while scaling our business exponentially in the absence of geographical barriers. We have also since refocused our growth efforts to further cement our position in core English, Chinese and Malay speaking markets in order to tap growth opportunities.

Today, we are proud to see that our core codes of being rooted in FinEduTech, driving lifelong learning and community exchange through technology, and empowering everyone to achieve sustainable wealth; have now been fully written and embedded within our value system.

Buoyed by the digital framework that we have put in place since 2016 to pave the way towards a smarter future, as well as our expedited digital transformation across the region, we have set new records in both our operations and earnings. Through the unyielding effort of our 8VI team, we have achieved what we set out to accomplish a year ago.

We have come a long way as an integrated FinEduTech platform – serving investors who are seeking knowledge and lifelong-learning opportunities through a variety of both one-off and recurring subscription products.

Our unique, proprietary stock analysis tool, VI App, developed through 8BIT Global Pte Ltd ("8BIT Global") continued to break new ground this year as it garnered regulatory clearance as a Licensed Financial Adviser approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. This breakthrough was a result of the team’s tireless efforts – from the perspectives of both research and development, as well as regulatory clearance; as this was no easy feat given the time spent in taking this milestone across the line. 8BIT Global is therefore licensed to provide financial advice on securities and units in collective investment schemes through research analyses and research reports via VI App.

In particular, the license enables us to demonstrate more conviction on VI Analysis’ research and development and put forward detailed recommendations based on a rating system that better informs our users on a company’s financials and valuation methods.

This represents a major milestone in our journey to bring smarter investing to everyone. Our license will allow us to further etch out new areas of capabilities, expand and improve on our offerings and services, and ultimately develop new proprietary features for VI App which will enhance overall user experiences and information delivery around smart stock analysis.

During the year, we have also been pushing ahead with our strategy to acquire and retain graduates, and invest in technology development while bearing our guiding principles in mind – focusing on innovation, our customers’ needs, and staying results-driven. FinTech remains as the cornerstone of our growth and customer experiences and our VI Community of investors continues to grow at a healthy pace. In the past year, our efforts to further strengthen our position in core markets are tracking well, particularly in markets that are predominantly English, Chinese and Malay speaking.

Having established VI App as a smart, technology-enabled investing platform, we will work to continue to attract like-minded individuals who are looking to make better investment decisions in a smarter, faster and easier manner. This group of potential graduates will have access to ongoing support from our coaches and learn through real-life case studies, while also benefitting from knowledge exchange with the wider network of VI users within the community.

Particularly, as we look at the total addressable market ("TAM") for asset and wealth management in the coming years, we believe there is immense potential to be tapped. Amongst three core segments of the TAM comprising “Do It Myself”, “Do It With Me” and “Do It For Me” groups, we will target the “Do It With Me” segment. Essentially, these savvy individuals are keen to learn about investing and prefer to use a paid service to assist them in making the right investment decisions. We elaborate more on this approach in the Operations Review.

The global COVID-19 situation continues to evolve as governments around the world are working hard to get their economies back on track in line with vaccination rollouts, even amidst ongoing lockdowns and fresh waves of the pandemic in various countries. As a result, many industries have been witnessing a structural shift to an online model of operations.

At 8VI, the fast-tracked digitalisation of our company since late 2019 has weathered us well, where we have already transformed our existing working processes and embraced new ways of working wholeheartedly. In FY2020, we successfully held our first virtual Annual General Meeting ("AGM"), and FY2021 will mark our second edition. VI College also held its annual keynote event VI Summit 2021 virtually for the first time this year, garnering a record number of participants across the Asia Pacific region. In addition to a Group-wide upgrade of our assets and technology, we have launched two new broadcasting studios (one in Malaysia and one in Singapore) from which we can host virtual masterclasses and events both on-site and remotely across borders.

We attribute our success in implementing our strategies to the commitment of our team, as well as the dynamism, vision and stewardship of our CEO, Mr Ken Chee. All the progress we have made thus far would not have been possible without their collective effort, sacrifice and resilience. Our team's belief in our vision propels us forward every day and brings us closer to our goal of coding a smarter future.

With the above, we are pleased to report that we have further grown our profitability in FY2021. This year, 8VI achieved strong increments across our net profit, operating profit margin and free cash flow. We recorded EBITDA of S$9.5 million in FY2021, which represented a 246.7% jump as compared to the S$2.7 million reported in the previous year and EBITDA margin of 36.5%. Accordingly, our net profit after tax attributable to owners of the company soared 446.7% to S$5.9 million over S$1.1 million in the corresponding period in FY2020.

We also saw a significant increase in our cash flow from operations alongside growth in revenue. Our healthy financial performance this year is in line with our expedited digital transformation strategy across the region with an extended period of recovery expected yet from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Looking ahead, as we build out our long-term plan for the next decade, continual digitalisation and acquiring talent to grow our technological capabilities, the area of financial services remains one of our key focuses as we believe that having the right team on board will be key to our growth strategy. In the coming year, we will be looking to invest in a new space for our talents to come together to build a stronger brand and culture for the Group and team. Digitalisation continues to be critical to our long-term strategy, where we will continue to adopt not just digital programmes and practices, but also a digital mindset.

With immense potential to be tapped in the TAM for asset and wealth management in the coming years, particularly in the “Do It With Me” segment, we intend to focus on these savvy, investing individuals who will use a paid service for their investment decisions. At the same time, we will work to attract more potential VI App users who are avid, massmarket investors, and also expand VI College’s business model laterally with new offerings for our customers. Also, we will explore ways to offer complementary financial services that can integrate with our VI App platform and core capabilities where it makes sense. We are of the view that we should look at ways to make inroads into these types of regulated services so as to further raise our competitive edge. Meanwhile, we also intend to broaden and deepen our acquisition, retention and technology development pillars to ensure we grow across the markets we operate in.

We continue to do our part for the communities where we operate as well, based on education and fintech as our identified material pillars. Our efforts include establishing a free financial literacy platform for young adults in Malaysia, as well as supporting deserving students and lower-income families through bursaries and fund-raising efforts in conjunction with industry partners.

I would like to welcome on board Attlee Hue, our new CEO at 8BIT Global, who has joined us on our exciting journey towards coding a smarter future. Attlee will be responsible for 8BIT Global’s overall strategic performance in line with 8VI’s wider direction. We have also introduced an Advisory Panel for 8VI in the course of the year – all experts in their own fields across fintech, blockchain, data analytics and marketing. Their collective experience and counsel will no doubt bring valuable perspectives and enable us to hone our strengths further.

Moving forward, we also intend to look at ways to diversify our Board composition as part of our effort to continue to upkeep the highest levels of corporate governance. This move will also help ensure that our Group maintains the latest pulse on industry best practices and standards.

At 8VI, we remain firmly rooted in our vision and mission to empower everyone with smart investing knowledge in order to achieve sustainable wealth. Our priorities have not wavered – we will continue striving to deliver our value proposition to better serve our community of like-minded investors through technology-empowered investment analysis and education. I am confident that we will be able to rise collectively to even greater heights by constantly moving towards individual and group mastery.

Clive Tan
Non-Executive Chairman
8VI Holdings Limited