Play­ers laud RM1­bil al­lo­ca­tion for tech star­tups

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - News -

PETALING JAYA: The RM1­bil al­lo­ca­tion for star­tups un­der Bud­get 2018 will be pro­vided by large gov­ern­ment linked in­vest­ment funds such as the Em­ploy­ees Prov­i­dent Fund and the Re­tire­ment Fund Inc to ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists on a match­ing ba­sis.

Sources fa­mil­iar with the plans ex­plained that reg­is­tered ven­ture cap­i­tal firms would have to match their own funds with how much they wish to tap from the RM1­bil fund.

“Se­condly and more im­por­tantly, the monies will need to be in­vested in Malaysian tech­nol­ogy startup com­pa­nies,” says the source.

The bud­get re­vealed that the al­lo­ca­tion of the RM1­bil would be co­or­di­nated by the Se­cu­ri­ties Com­mis­sion but sources add that other agen­cies such as the Malaysia Dig­i­tal Econ­omy Corp and Malaysia Ven­ture Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment Bhd would also have a role to play.

The move is wel­comed by in­dus­try play­ers. Catcha Group co-founder and group CEO Pa­trick Grove said: “It is great that the Gov­ern­ment is sup­port­ing the tech scene in a mas­sive way through Bud­get 2018. It is a game changer for Malaysian home-grown tech en­trepreneurs like us at Catcha.

“This can help put Malaysia on the map as a cen­tre of tech es­pe­cially in Asean. Malaysia al­ready has the tal­ent with great ideas and skills. Now with the in­cen­tives for ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists to in­vest in lo­cal tech star­tups, this gives a needed boost for Malaysia’s tech scene”.

Grove added that Catcha Group would be look­ing to work with the Gov­ern­ment to find ways to as­sist in the de­ploy­ment of these new funds given their track record of in­vest­ing in tech com­pa­nies.

“These funds are also in­line with our plans for KL In­ter­net City which is part of the dig­i­tal free trade zone, as the fund­ing will also al­low us to con­tinue to in­vest in new in­dus­try lead­ers as they emerge and be­come part of the tech­nol­ogy ecosys­tem here in Malaysia.”

Grove: This can help put Malaysia on the map as a cen­tre of tech es­pe­cially in Asean. — Bloomberg

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