ScaleUp Malaysia has announced that they have entered into an exclusive partnership with Quest Ventures, a Singapore-based venture capital firm to invest and scale the regional growth of top Malaysian startups.
The partnership with Quest Ventures will bring in a Foreign Direct Investment deal worth US$1,000,000 (RM4,150,000) to develop and grow Malaysian startups. To qualify for the Cohort 2 program which was also launched today, scaleups must be operating on business models that have the propensity to disrupt existing markets or have solutions that are able to navigate future challenges and take advantage of opportunities brought about by the current economic climate.
24 companies shortlisted from the Cohort 2 applications will begin their accelerator journey in October 2020 before presenting their solutions in front of the Investment Committee at the end of the program. As part of the partnership, ScaleUp Malaysia Cohort 2 powered by Quest Ventures will invest at least USD$60,250 (RM250,000) in up to 12 of these companies.
According to James Tan, Managing Partner of Quest Ventures, “Beyond the traditional investment role of VCs, we see it as our tech ecosystem duty to drive a speedier adoption of the Digital Economy. Our partnership with ScaleUp Malaysia will enable us to support the top tech talent teeming in Malaysia and provide necessary and timely support to power their disruptive businesses to break into the post-pandemic emerging Asia markets.”
ScaleUp Malaysia launched its first cohort in December 2019 with 20 companies. 10 of them received an investment of USD$48,283 (RM200,000). The accelerator, through their Pegasus model, grooms startups in the growth and post product-market fit stage into scaleup businesses with high revenue growth and increased profitability rates that attract follow-on investments.
“In this second cohort, we want to empower solutions that tap into the buy-in of the digital economy and prime them through our rigorous syllabus designed to take local companies to the global stage. Our partnership with Quest Ventures will enable our scaleups to quantum leap their growth, access adjacent markets and unlock a wealth of economic possibilities through value creation, needed now more than ever with our collapsing global economy brought about by Covid-19,” said Dr V. Sivapalan, Senior Partner of ScaleUp Malaysia.
Earlier this year, Quest Ventures announced the first close of its venture capital fund named Asia Fund II after clinching support from Singapore’s Pavilion Capital which is a subsidiary of Singapore state investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd and QazTech Ventures which is a subsidiary of Kazakhstan state investment institution, Baiterek National Managing Holding JSC. The fund will be used to further expand and strengthen its presence within Southeast and Emerging Asia.
Applications for Cohort 2 will officially open beginning Sept 8. Participants must be registered as a Malaysian company and will be shortlisted based on four key criteria: 1) revenue generation; 2) ability to demonstrate product-market fit; 3) potential of highly scalable products or service with large growth potential; and 4) possibility of global expansion.