The National ICT Association of Malaysia, PIKOM unveils its inaugural SEA Dragon Venture Platform, aimed at connecting scale up companies in Malaysia and across the South East Asia region with global venture capitalists, corporate investors and high net-worth individuals. PIKOM Chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah says that the association’s latest industry initiative stems from the fact that lack of funding and lack of public exposure are some of the biggest hurdles faced by companies in the scale-up stage.
Ganesh says, “It’s a chicken and egg situation where on one side investors want to see results and on the other side, these companies need investment to be able to show tangible results. Through this platform, we could be looking at some of these companies receiving funding of up to USD25 million in this platform.”
The Sea Dragon Venture Platform has proven to be a fruitful initiative, attracting more than 170 companies from Malaysia and SEA region ready to wow the investors to get the much-needed funding to take them to the next level. It was no easy task as the stakes were high and after a grueling first round phase, about 40-45 companies were shortlisted from the initial 170 plus applicants by the advisory committee comprising partners of this platform.
In the second round, these companies were further screened via phone interviews before moving on to the next round based on three broad areas of growth, technology and the funding amount to be raised. After several mentoring sessions, two companies were dropped to reveal the final 32 companies who will be given the opportunity to directly pitch to more than 40 venture capitalists, investors and high net worth individuals from China, Silicon Valley, Hong Kong, Malaysia and across the region. Out of the 32 companies who made the final cut after the two-month four-round intense selection process, about sixty percent were Malaysian companies.
PIKOM’s SEA Dragon Venture Platform is broken into two categories of funding based on the pitch and potential of these startups and scale ups.
- Series A: USD 1-3million
- Series B/C: USD 3-25million or more
The Sea Dragon Venture Platform is organised by PIKOM with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) as strategic partner.
Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer, MDEC, says, “Malaysia’s digital economy continues to be a key driver of growth; contributing over 18.2% to Malaysia’s GDP this year and is expected to exceed our milestone of 20% before 2020. At the Sea Dragon Venture Platform, we are excited to connect the Malaysian scale up ecosystem with investors across the world and further establish Malaysia’s position as the prominent digital and tech hub in the ASEAN region.”