Malaysia's Startup Ecosystem is Looking Promising
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Malaysia's Startup Ecosystem is Looking Promising

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Malaysia's startup ecosystem generated more than 50,000 jobs in 2021. By 2025, the number of startups in Malaysia is projected to exceed 10,000. The Malaysian government aims to make Malaysia a regional center for startups by 2025. The government is planning multiple initiatives to achieve this, many of which are already in motion. However, one of the unique among them that will give an instant boost to the country’s startup ecosystem is the new startup fund launched by Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP), Malaysia's public service retirement fund. KWAP has launched a 500 million ringgit ($106.68 million) vehicle to invest in startups and venture capital funds over the next 18 to 24 months.

The early-stage Dana Perintis fund is an endeavor to spur the nation's venture capital (VC) and startup ecosystem. The fund will invest half of its corpus, or 250 million ringgit, directly into startups. The other half will go into a fund-of-funds to support venture capital funds. KWAP plans to choose 10 VCs from the 38 proposals it received earlier this year. Commenting on the occasion, KWAP chief investment officer Hazman Hilmi Sallahuddin said, "The goal of Dana Perintis is two-fold: to enhance the Malaysian early-stage ecosystem and to generate attractive and sustainable risk-adjusted returns for KWAP and our stakeholders."

How do you avail this fund for your startup? Well, the selection of the VC funds is based on more than 30 criteria, but they can be summarized into six categories: the firm's profile, their past performance, their [investment] terms, their fundraising ability, and their network and market access. However, while Malaysia's startup ecosystem is brewing, we have curated some interesting stories from there in this special issue. Do let us know your thoughts.

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