Malaysia Debt Ven­tures launches $953 mn tech-fo­cused fund, to in­vest in 300 firms

Mint Asia ST - - Inside - BSY HIWEN YA P

State-

backed Malaysia Debt Ven­tures Bhd (MDV) plans to in­vest in up to 300 tech­nol­ogy en­ter­prises over the next 20 years through its third fund, which has a cor­pus of RM4 bil­lion ($952.8 mil­lion), it said on 6 Septem­ber.

The third fund caters to tech­nol­ogy en­ter­prises in the early stages of growth and de­vel­op­ment, un­like its two ear­lier funds which catered to ma­ture and rev­enue-stage com­pa­nies with clear and strong credit pro­files. The lat­est fund will tar­get start-ups in the ar­eas of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI), vir­tual re­al­ity (VR), aug­mented re­al­ity (AR) and 4D print­ing, among oth­ers.

MDV’S first fund was sourced from the Ja­panese Bank of In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion (JBIC) through the min­istry of fi­nance (MOF) and to­talled RM1.6 bil­lion.

In 2007, MOF ap­proved RM2.5 bil­lion for MDV’S sec­ond fund. The first tranche saw MDV is­sue an RM1.5 bil­lion Is­lamic Medium Term Note (IMTN) to fi­nance tech­nol­ogy projects. With the sec­ond fund, MDV ex­panded its fo­cus ar­eas to in­clude biotech­nol­ogy.

Ac­cord­ing to MDV, it has iden­ti­fied 15 en­ter­prises in­volved in e-com­merce, 3D print­ing and ro­bot­ics that could re­ceive fi­nanc­ing from the third fund within the next six months, with about MYR100 mil­lion worth of projects across these ar­eas.

This lat­est fund will strengthen the fund­ing el­e­ments of Malaysia’s start-up ecosys­tem, which al­ready has in­vest­ment plat­forms such as Crowdo, Alix Global and Ata Plus op­er­at­ing.

Loans from the fund come with a re­ported 8% in­ter­est rate and will see its cap­i­tal raised through Is­lamic Medium Term Notes (IMTNS). It will serve as a plat­form for MDV to iden­tify and fund new tech­nol­ogy ar­eas as well as to de­velop and launch com­ple­men­tary fi­nan­cial prod­ucts to sup­port their po­ten­tially novel busi­ness model.

Es­tab­lished in 2002, MDV cur­rently pro­vides fi­nanc­ing fa­cil­i­ties to tech­nol­ogy firms in in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy (ICT), green tech­nol­ogy, biotech­nol­ogy and emerg­ing tech­nol­ogy sec­tors in Malaysia. It claimed to have dis­bursed more than RM11 bil­lion in fi­nanc­ing to more than 680 tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies, en­abling the com­ple­tion and de­liv­ery of an es­ti­mated 773 projects in var­i­ous tech­nol­ogy do­mains.

Fo­cus ar­eas: MDV’S lat­est fund will tar­get start-ups in ar­eas of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, vir­tual re­al­ity and aug­mented re­al­ity.

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