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MDEC scales up tech funding scene in Malaysia

AvantiKumar | Nov. 1, 2016
The ICT funding ecosystem is attracting foreign VCs and four agreements have already been signed.

A Cyberjaya project  - Skyscraper City  (Skyscrapercity gallery) 

Image (Skyscraper project gallery) - Skyscraper City, a Cyberjaya development project


National ICT agency MDEC (Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation) has scaled up the local tech funding ecosystem with four new agreements with venture capitalists (VCs).

This initiative, which follows MDEC's recent GAIN update of Malaysian companies speeding into ASEAN markets, involves signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with key foreign VCs from the United States of America, Vietnam, Singapore and China to support the growth of the Digital Economy in Malaysia.
"With the rapid emergence of entrepreneurs, it is essential for Cyberjaya and Malaysia to have a developed funding ecosystem to support our local entrepreneurs and businesses," said MDEC's chief executive officer Dato' Yasmin Mahmood, speaking during the inaugural Cyberjaya Tech Funding Symposium, organised by MDEC and Setia Haruman.

"We seek to attract foreign venture capitals to invest in Malaysia as their presence and contribution catalyses the ecosystem growth," she said to a congregation, which included featured global investors.

"A developed funding ecosystem facilitates and empowers the broader local economy to contribute to Malaysia becoming a hub for creative thinking and business activity for upcoming local and foreign tech companies," Yasmin said.

Scaling up opportunities

"We are thrilled to see such great response from world renowned investors who are here to provide our local entrepreneurs and businesses with the necessary opportunities to scale and provide the needed support," she added.

Tasked with driving more collaboration among local and foreign funders, the symposium included the participation of 22 foreign VCs.

Some of the investors present were Draper Dragon, DFJ Vina, Intres, Cradle Seed Ventures, Vertex Ventures, 500 Startups, Quest Ventures and B Capital Group.
To strengthen the local funding ecosystem, MDEC signed four MoUs with Dragon Fund LLC (USA), DFJ VinaCapital L. P (Vietnam), Golden Gate Ventures (Singapore) and Netrove Ventures Corporation (China) to provide venture funding.

 MDEC's Yasmin said the agreements provide "a unique platform for Malaysian tech companies to pursue equity investments, market access opportunities and mentoring opportunities."

In addition to promoting the investment platform, the initiative should help streamline MSC Malaysia status companies to have the opportunity to pitch for sufficient scaling support to drive growth.
Prior to the Cyberjaya Tech Funding Symposium, the annual Innotech, an investment pitching platform was hosted by MDEC on Monday, 24th October.

This year, MDEC is providing tech companies with the opportunity to pitch to notable foreign and local investors who have a combined pool of RM13 billion. As of 2015, Innotech has facilitated nearly RM600 million worth of funding for 128 Companies, including Rapidcloud and Galasys. These companies were also successfully listed on reputable stock exchange.
Cyberjaya's role in the Digital Economy
Established 20 years ago, the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) was intended to build a world-class infrastructure, with Cyberjaya at the core. .

Today, the MSC Malaysia footprint has expanded to 44 locations throughout the nation, hosting more than 3,880 companies from more than 40 countries and employing close to 160,000 high-income knowledge workers, with 87 percent being Malaysians.
"Cyberview as a tech hub enabler through collaborative efforts with various partners, has established a vibrant ecosystem here in Cyberjaya," said Dato' Faris Yahaya, managing director, Cyberview.

"Our smart city and the living lab pillars are built into the city's Global Tech Hub blueprint, creating the technological sandbox upon which innovation thrives. Having a strong funding presence here provides the catalyst needed to further accelerate growth for startups and allow for solutions to be deployed into a city environment seamlessly, " said Faris.

"Cyberjaya has developed significantly over the last 19 years, proving to be resilient having gone through several economic recessions. With the joint effort to develop the funding ecosystem, we welcome regional and international VCs to establish their presence in Cyberjaya, and view it as the capital for startups in Malaysia," commented Tn Hj Ahmad Khalif, executive chairman, Setia Haruman.


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