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MDEC partners to bridge local tech startups

Image Credits: Digital News Asia, Article

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and its industry partner have announced a virtual investor-matching initiative for local startups that are seeking capital injection amid the current economic slowdown.

The Japanese-backed KK Fund is a familiar name among startups in Malaysia having made several investments since 2014 in the country.

Dubbed ‘Meet Your Match Malaysia’, the initiative is a collaboration between Singapore-based venture capital fund with investment interest in the Internet and mobile startups across Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and MDEC’s Global Growth Acceleration Division.

To date, MDEC and the firm have secured nearly 60 global investors who are ready to match virtually with startups in Malaysia that are actively seeking funding but are constrained by the Movement Control Order (MCO) in the country.

‘Meet Your Match Malaysia’ kicked off on 3 April 2020 and will run until 17 April 2020. Startups that are keen to be matched with potential investors may apply through the website.

All profiles and applications of the startups will be screened by MDEC and the firm before being shared with the prospective investors. Upon successful matching, a virtual connection will be initiated by the investors to delve into deeper discussions with their chosen startups.

Echoing the findings of a recent COVID-19 survey by the SME Association of Malaysia, the CEO of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation agreed that local startups face the same fate as many small and medium-sized enterprises in Malaysia that are struggling with sufficient cash flow to even sustain until end April 2020.

She stated that given the very challenging economic situation, MDEC’s Global Growth Acceleration Division has been relentlessly seeking funding avenues for startups that have been dependent on physical meetings and networking events to connect with potential investors.

The Vice President of MDEC’s Global Growth Acceleration Division expressed gratitude on behalf of MDEC to the firm for this timely partnership and for playing a pivotal role in driving this online investor-matching initiative.

MDEC is also scouting more funding opportunities to aid vulnerable companies in these challenging times, he added.

According to the Founder and General Partner of KK Fund, ‘Meet Your Match Thailand’ was launched recently and the response was exceptionally encouraging, drawing more than 40 global investors and 30 Thai startups.

This prompted the firm to expand its online investor-matching initiative to the rest of Southeast Asia and beyond.

For Meet Your Match Malaysia, the firm decided to partner with MDEC and BEAMSTART that have been contributing prominently to the Malaysian startup ecosystem.

It is believed that startups should not cease engaging investors in light of a market slowdown. Startups should be perfectly ready for fundraising when the market momentum changes again.

As such, it is hoped that Malaysia-based startups will take full advantage of this opportunity and move to greater heights.

Given the extension on the MCO, MDEC has developed a dedicated microsite for its #DigitalVsCovid campaign. Consumers, businesses and investors are advised to regularly visit the website to learn more about MDEC’s initiatives and relief services offered by a wide range of organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

OpenGov Asia previously covered the #DigitalVsCovid campaign, reporting that the campaign aims to rally local tech and digital companies to extend their services and create incentives for those affected by the nationwide Movement Control Order (MCO).

So far, 80 local tech-centric companies have joined the campaign and are offering a multitude of solutions and services on a pro-bono basis to help businesses and consumers through the challenges resulting from the MCO.

Whether it is an attractive discount or strategic collaborations, the companies expressed sincere interests to help buffer the impact of the MCO at large.

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