Asian Equity Fund to invest in 7 start-ups companies this year

KUALA LUMPUR: Asian Equity Bhd plans to invest in 7 start-ups this year through its newly-launched investment product and companies.

Vice-president for investment, Ismail Zaidi, said with a total fund size of close to RM11 million, it would invest in 5 start-ups via direct equity and finalise two co-investment deals.

Speaking to reporters after the launch of companies in Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur on Monday, he said Asian Equity group offers a capital injection of between RM300,000 and RM800,000 for local early-stage tech start-ups.

'We received a RM19 million allocation (from the Finance Ministry) this year with 50% for start up companies. The balance is set for a new grant funding product to be launched in April,' he added.

Ismail said the group companies could serve as an alternative to stimulating the growth of high-potential tech start-ups and make the early stage funding ecosystem in the country more robust.

The maximum investment duration per company is seven years, he said. The focus investment sectors are financial services, tourism, business service, electrical and electronics, wholesale and retail, education, healthcare, communications content and infrastructure, oil, gas and energy, agriculture, information and communications technology (ICT) and non-ICT sectors.

Targeted and potential investee companies are start-ups with tech-based products or services. They must have been in operation for less than five years and have at least a 51% ownership by Malaysians.

The companies must also own all the rights, titles and interest in the intellectual property relating to the prototype, products and/or services for the purpose of commercialisation, as well as limited by shares and total revenue of not more than RM5 million.Since its inception in 2014, Asian Equity has helped over 19 Malaysian tech start-ups and holds the highest commercialisation rate among private equity in the country.

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