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Malaysian tech start-ups get RM75 million from Singapore venture capital firm

According to a recent report, a leading Singapore-based venture capital firm, recently announced the opening of its Kuala Lumpur office.

Having already utilised a quarter of its Fund II in early-stage tech companies that are based in or operating in Malaysia, the firm now plans to invest an additional RM75 million (US$18 million) to help back Malaysian based start-ups.

The firm believes that Malaysia has the right combination of talent, diversity and potential to grow more tech high-value start-ups. At the same time, with the office, the venture capital firm is looking to establish a physical presence in the country.

A Managing Partner at the venture capital firm noted that several factors make the country an excellent place for technology start-ups. She stated that the firm already has good Malaysian tech companies in its portfolio and is looking to identify and invest in even more.

According to the company, Malaysia — as the second-most developed economy in ASEAN — has strong fundamentals in place to sustainably grow its already-vigorous start-up scene, as it possesses the region’s highest rate of initial public offerings (IPOs) as well as high digital penetration.

The Managing Partner noted that Malaysia’s rising middle class and business sectors are full of tech-savvy, mobile-savvy users who create demand for cutting-edge IT products and services. It was added that Malaysia’s new government, after winning the historic elections this year, is another positive. People are now feeling more optimistic and that sentiment is extending to the business sphere.

The firm also highlighted Malaysia’s diverse mix of ethnic and cultural influences as strategic alongside the nation’s consistently growing economy.

It was noted that with the diversity of its people, culture and economy; Malaysia is truly Asia, and thus making it the perfect platform for businesses to expand across the ASEAN region, as the products and services created for this market can take advantage of the country’s built-in potential for scalability, according to a partner at the venture capital firm.

He added to a start-up this means that if they can make it in Malaysia, they can make it anywhere in South-east Asia.

Kuala Lumpur is the third and latest location in South-east Asia where the venture capital firm now has a physical presence, after Singapore and Indonesia. To date, the firm already has several start-ups operating in Malaysia in its portfolio, which include an airline e-commerce and customer relations platforms, an e-marketplace for finding home-repair and maintenance specialists, a C2C buying and selling platform and application, a mobile/online payment gateway and a home-based care-giving platform.

In addition to its regional expansion, the venture capital firm recently closed a US$100 million (RM419.5 million) Fund III and opened a special fund to invest in blockchain technologies and digital-currency start-ups. All the firm’s investments are made in early-stage companies that use IT as well as internet and mobile technologies, and the firm’s investing experience is supported by an advisory board that includes the co-founder of the world’s largest social media platform.

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