The venture capital ecosystem is heavily skewed towards the key markets of Singapore and Indonesia, especially when it comes to where the VCs are located. However, the local investment scene in markets around the region are very active.
Though Malaysia’s investment scene has been quite placid due to the strong focus on steady returns due to the pension and sovereign fund, there are some VCs that are being active in the market.
From steady investments to developing the overall startup ecosystem, we look at the Malaysian VCs making waves in the country.
Formerly TinkBig Ventures, this Southeast Asia focused fund has an interesting portfolio of eight startups from the region, including Refash, Beam and VMO.
Founded by serial entrepreneur Andrew Tan, who has taken two companies public, and recently launched a academy, providing educational programmes and consultancy for entrepreneurs as well as investors.
Cradle is Malaysia’s early stage startup vehicle and is under the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and presently administered by Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC). The fund has numerous investment vehicles under its umbrella including Cradle Seed Ventures Management Pte Ltd.
It is a non-profit organization that manages the RM100 million Cradle Investment Program since 2003. Pre-Seed and Seed are 2 types of conditional grants of the organization that provides funding for businesses from idea conceptualization to commercialization.
TH Capital is a Malaysian based private investment firm focused on Southeast Asia. With a strong portfolio of startups including Naluri and Avana, the active investment fund focused on mostly early stage and seed investments.
According to their website, they are focused on ‘emerging technologies that we believe will inspire industry wide innovation, improve way of life and sustain the human condition‘. These include startups within fintech, gaming, IoT and eCommerce.
RHL Ventures is a multi-family private investment firm focused on Southeast Asia. Founded in 2016, it is currently led by Rachel Lau, Raja Hamzah Abidin and Jo Jo Kong, and they recently raised a US$24.3M sector-agnostic fund to invest in Malaysian startups, SMEs.
To date, the VC has invested in several tech startups, including healthcare SaaS company HealthMetrics, Coffee Meets Bagel and healthy snacks e-commerce platform Signature Market.
Intres Capital Partners
Intres Capital Partners is a VC firm formed through a partnership between Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad (MAVCAP), QuestMark Capital Management Sdn Bhd, and Teak Capital Sdn Bhd.
They currently run the Axiata Digital Innovation Fund, which is a technology venture fund formed by Axiata Berhad in collaboration with Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad and Johor Corporation.
Their portfolio includes KFit, TripFez, Avana and Supahands.