One of Malaysia’s largest telecommunications companies, Axiata, revealed yesterday the first batch of six companies that received a portion of RM12.5 million (US$2.9 million) invested from its RM100-million (US$23.4-million) Axiata Digital Innovation Fund (ADIF).
The startups were Maideasy, Tripfez, Easyparcel, Easyuni, SPOT News and Supahands — all Malaysian-owned.
The ADIF was set up in collaboration with Malaysia Venture Capital Management Behrad (MAVCAP) in late 2014 and openly focusses on businesses with a Bumiputera (ethnic Malay) background.
According to a statement by AIDF, “By 2020, ADIF aims to fund and nurture a substantial number of Malaysian-owned digital services businesses and targets to build up to 5 regional champions.”
The fund is managed by Intres Capital, a subsidiary of MAVCAP.
“Our aim is to further develop these locally-successful Malaysian companies and help them evolve into regional champions within the digital service space,” said Idham Nawawi, Group Chief Corporate Officer at Axiata in an official statement.
A little bit about the six companies receiving investment:
This company is similar to the now-defunct US startup Homejoy. It connects users with local cleaning service providers and fits a niche in Malaysia in which, as e27 reported, people are becoming more hesitant to hire permanent live-in maids.
In November, the company raised a single-digit million round from Intres Capital, which invests from the ADIF fund.
Tripfez helps people “travel like a Muslim” by helping tourists find locations to fit their religious needs. The travel portal operates all over the world and top locations are Singapore, Medan, Istanbul, Tokyo, London, Petra and Kuala Lumpur.
EasyParcel is a subsidiary company under Kuala Lumpur-based web hosting and e-commerce solutions provider Exabytes. The B2B company lets businesses select from a variety of logistics partners to compare price and service.
This search engine for universities was founded in 2010. It has operations throughout Asia. At e27’s Echelon Asia Summit 2014, EasyUni launched a bid to raise its Series B round. As reported by e27, that effort has paid off as EasyUni raised an undisclosed Series B.
A news media company that delivers top news directly to a user’s cell phone, SPOT news works to localise the news depending on language and country in Southeast Asia.
It maintains an active blog and promotes advertising as a source of revenue.
As reported by e27 yesterday, one of the investments from the ADIF Fund was a seed investment into this virtual assistant outsourcing company. The amount was undisclosed but reportedly in the “single-digit million dollar range”. The company allows SMEs and startups to delegate tasks like data entry or customer care to a curated pool of ‘SupaAgents’.