How is the Venture Capital market like in Malaysia?
The startup and venture capital market in Malaysia is not as vibrant as Singapore as it is often catered more to the local market and companies. Comparatively, Malaysia has a more placid investment scene.
Who looks for VCs in Malaysia?
Foreign startups are still looking at the more developed markets of Hong Kong and Singapore. However, that does not mean Malaysia is falling behind. This is still one of the fastest-growing markets in the region. The local startup industry has been developing in the past decade and companies are constantly looking for funds and assistance.
Is Malaysia a good platform for startups?
Malaysia scores 83.3 for Ease of Doing Business as ranked by the World Bank. Compared to Singapore at 98.3, Malaysia still has a lot to catch up to. The country benefits from several benefits like tax incentives, ideal geographical location and political stability.
What are the top venture capital firms in Malaysia?
Below are 10 of the top venture capital firms offering investment options in the country.
TBV Capital is a Licensed Venture Capital Management Corporation by the Malaysian Securities Commission. Formerly known as TinkBig Ventures, this firm has raised more than US$200 million. the company was founded by Andrew Tan, a serial entrepreneur who has since taken 2 companies public and has been actively providing educational programs and consultancy services for aspiring entrepreneurs. Among the companies that TBV Capital invested in previously include VMP, Refash and Beam.
Cradle Fund is perhaps one of the most popular names in the startup’s sector. This non-profit firm comes under the Malaysian MoF (Ministry of Finance) and is managed under the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change. It has been managing the Cradle Investment Program for nearly 20 years now, offering conditional grants like Pre-Seed and Seed programs.
TH Capital invests in new tech and startups in the industries of e-commerce, fintech, Internet of Things and gaming, among others. This is a private investment firm based in Malaysia and provides funding for startups across the region. It emphasizes on early-stage and seed investments and is affiliated to successful startups like Avana and Naluri.
RHL Ventures was established in 2016 by Rachel Lau, Jo Jo Kong and Raja Hamzah Abidin. This private investment firm has been one of the most active VCs around, focusing on startups in the Southeast Asia region. The firm invests in startups and SMEs in Malaysia including Coffee Meets Bagel, Signature Market (a healthy snacks e-commerce firm) and healthcare SaaS company HealthMetrics.
Intres Capital Partners
Intres Capital Partners is the firm that manages the Axiata Digital Innovation Fund which is a venture fund between Axiata Berhad, Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad (MAVCAP) and Johor Corporation. This firm is a partnership between MAVCAP, Teak Capital Sdn Bhd and QuestMark Capital Management Sdn Bhd. Among the companies that Intres Capital Partners has invested in include Supahands, TripFez, Avana and KFit.
Captii Ventures is a firm that invests primarily in the technology and innovation sectors. The firm is a multi-stage investor focusing on businesses in the Southeast Asia region. According to the firm, Captii Ventures is interested to invest in businesses like marketplaces and platforms that facilitate supply and demand, new media and new startups that use technology to change the status quo of business. Among the businesses that Captii Ventures have invested in include Curlec, Momos, C88Fintech, Avana and Shopertise.
Catcha Group is one of the most established media brands based in Malaysia. From the early days of publishing to entertainment streaming services, Catcha has evolved to become one of the known venture capital firms in the country. The firm looks for disruptive technology companies or businesses to invest in with a focus on Southeast Asia and Australia markets.
FirstFloor Capital focuses on high-growth technology companies. This venture investment firm helps startups and businesses in funding for their operations in dynamic sectors like mobility, life sciences, communications and information technology, among others. Among the names that FirstFloor Capital has invested in include Althea, Weeloy, CloudKinetics and Malaysia Genomics Resource Centre.
Intelligent Capital was established in 2000 based in Malaysia. It focuses on tech startups and early-stage startups providing investment and expertise to help them get off the ground. Intelligent Capital emphasizes mainly in the Southeast Asia market with funds ranging between RM50,000 and RM1,000,000 and has been previously involved in businesses like Pestle & Mortar, Scholarships2U, kakitangan.com and collectCo (an established courier services company).
InvestPenang manages the Penang i4.0 Seed Fund. This is a special seed program for startups focusing on the areas of innovative technology products and services. The fund came about in 2018 by the Penang State Government aimed to develop the state to be the Silicone Valley of Asia. With a backing from the state government of Penang, this is one platform that brings a lot of security and stability which are very much needed by startups. This fund has been created and targeted mainly for early-stage technology startups to grow the technology ecosystem of Penang and the surrounding regions.