More Local Startups Have The Power To Become Unicorns: MDEC CEO

Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) CEO Mahadhir Aziz says a few local startups are strong enough to become the next unicorns and are already considered as ‘minicorns’.

“We’re certain that more startups are set to become the next Malaysian unicorn, following Carsome. Our DroneTech champion Aerodyne is making waves internationally, and along with the likes of edotco, SoCar, iPrice, and StoreHub are often considered ‘minicorns’. 

“Additionally, Fave and Boost remain strong contenders as upcoming Unicorns,” Mahadhir Aziz told BusinessToday.

The measures announced in Budget 2022 (B2022), Mahadhir Aziz says, are a clear indicator of the government’s focus on the digital economy as the country prepares for economic recovery following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To accommodate more unicorns, MDEC has implemented a five-year plan called “Digital Investment Future5 (DIF5) Strategy” that aims to attract more investment.

“With regards to unicorns, we have our ‘DIF5 Strategy’ in place. It is a five-year plan focusing on five key thrusts aimed at attracting investments and advancing Malaysia’s digital economy in line with the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint or MyDIGITAL.

“The five-year initiative, which will run from 2021 to 2025 following the 12th Malaysia Plan, aims to secure high-quality digital investments as it seeks to unlock new drivers of growth in the digital economy,” he says.

DIF5 Strategy Targets

The five DIF5 strategy targets by 2025 are, RM50 billion investments in the digital economy, to focus on 5 key industry sectors, 5 focus technologies, 5 emerging technologies, and digital global business services, attract 50 Fortune 500 tech companies to land and expand in Malaysia, Establishment of 5 Unicorns, and lastly, Creation of 50,000 high-value jobs in the MSC.

Through several key initiatives, Mahadhir explains that the DIF5 strategy leads to the creation of a digital economy ecosystem – comprising of a strong digital infrastructure, robust policy, and regulatory frameworks, skilled and knowledgeable digital talents, and strategic collaborations – that makes Malaysia a viable location for global unicorns to land and expand regionally. 

“This ecosystem also means that local startups have the tools and environment to become unicorns themselves,” he says.

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