The establishment of the VC fund with a total allocation of RM1.2b to drive the country’s economic recovery through digitalisation in businesses
by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic by TMR FILE
PENJANA Kapital Sdn Bhd attracted eight global venture capital (VC) fund managers with a combined fund of RM1.57 billion for the Penjana Nasional Fund (PNF) programme.
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz (picture) said the eight VCs were selected among 51 applicants from the US, Korea, China, Indonesia and Singapore.
“The total fund size is RM370 million more than the initial projected allocation.
“To ensure compatibility with domestic players, a rigorous evaluation process was employed and the setup is ready for us to achieve our objectives,” he said in a speech at the letter of award ceremony yesterday.
Last June, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the establishment of the VC fund with a total allocation of RM1.2 billion to drive the country’s economic recovery through digitalisation in businesses.
“The Penjana (short-term Economic Recovery Plan) fund was introduced as part of the government’s economic stimulus package to weather the impact of Covid-19.
“It is not just another start-up fund. With a focus on sectors involving agriculture, financial, education, mobility and artificial intelligence, the plan was to set up a RM1.2 billion fund that is effectively allocated to high-growth firms with a clearset of goals to achieve,” he added.
Of the total fund allocation, RM600 million is an investment injected from the government, ,while another RM600 million is from domestic and international investors.
Tengku Zafrul said the knowledge transfer plans within Malaysia’s start-ups, of which 91 are set to be executed under Penjana Kapital, will create 1,800 high-skilled jobs through investee companies’ projects.
“It goes beyond providing the short-term funding needs of these companies. For the long term, Penjana Kapital has established knowledge transfer plans to set a clear goal for the players involved.
“These plans, of which 91 are under Penjana Kapital alone, will eventually lead to the creation of high-skilled jobs, in line with Malaysia’s objective to become a knowledge-based economy with high value-added products and services,” he said.
On the start-up front, the green technology industry has been slowly emerging with projects like waste management, renewable energy and manufacturing of products that minimise carbon footprint, Tengku Zafrul added.
“In promoting this green agenda, we hope our entrepreneurs will also leverage the private investment ecosystem and venture into green technology to achieve the people-planet-profit triple bottom line.
“Malaysia’s start-up sector certainly has the capabilities and potential to achieve this, having grown in strength over the years,” he said.
Tengku Zafrul added that about 200 financial technology start-ups are based in Malaysia as of April 2019, signalling the fastest growing subsectors in Malaysia’s economy.
“Malaysian start-up space still has room to grow and compete with its regional peers, facilitated by the sizeable portion of government funds.
“This is where Penjana Kapital and other funds dedicated to encouraging the start-ups will continue to play their role in developing the private capital investment space,” he said.