According to Bernama Media, via Yahoo Malaysia, Cradle Fund, a not-for-profit organisation under the Ministry of Finance (Malaysia), has today announced its partnership with Singapore-based venture capital firm Golden Gate Ventures.
The two parties will co-invest in early-stage tech companies in Malaysia and help them to expand overseas with a 1:1 matching scheme.
According to the original article, Cradle and Golden Gate Ventures will fund up to five startups a year with an annual fund size of up to MYR 2.5 million (about US$778,000). Each company will receive up to MYR 500,000 (about US$155,000) in funding.
Nazrin Hassan, CEO, Cradle Fund said that Cradle will provide the same amount as Golden Gate Ventures without taking any equity in the funded company.
This partnership will definitely help Malaysia in poising itself as a location for entrepreneurship, given that the Southeast Asian country has not received much attention from regional investors. In an earlier article, investors present at Asia Leaders Summit 2014 gave the impression that they were not bullish about the market.
Hassan added that entrepreneurs looking to raise funds in Malaysia will no longer have to travel out of the country to find investors.
Furthermore, there are plans to implement such partnerships with local venture capitalists and angel investors. By 2017, Hassan said, Cradle will allocate 50 per cent of its funds for co-investment initiatives.
For the record, Cradle Fund was started in 2003 with a MYR 100 million (US$31 million), and later received another MYR 50 million (US$15.5 million) to create a thriving startup ecosystem in Malaysia.
While this is the first time we hear of such a co-investment opportunity for Cradle, a concept like this isn’t exactly new to Golden Gate Ventures. In April 2014, the latter was reported to be part of the six firms selected to partner up with Singapore’s National Research Foundation for a 1:1 Limited Partner scheme.
UPDATE: In conversation with e27, Jeffrey Paine, Founding Partner, Golden Gate Ventures, said, “Based on market size, Malaysia tends to be looked at as a secondary market to invest in, you can tell by the number of investments in larger markets like Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand (most recently) and even representative offices being set up.”
Investors, however, have not forgotten Malaysia. In fact, Paine added that the entrepreneurial DNA is very much alive and well. For the record, the firm had previously invested in music video site AtticTV.
He also explained that while Golden Gate Ventures does not look at themes or specific verticals when investing, certain industries, like automotive and financial services, within the enterprise space in Malaysia are definitely worth exploring. He concluded, “… we see that consumer facing startups need to either think regional or global from day one if you are based in smaller markets.”