by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by BERNAMA
PENJANA Kapital Sdn Bhd’s Dana Penjana Nasional (DPN) programme has successfully raised RM850 million for its first close at end-May 2021, exceeding the RM228 million target by 3.7 times, or RM622 million.
Penjana Kapital, a company set up to operationalise the DPN, stated over 55% of the total amount raised, or RM433 million, was from foreign investors from Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore.
“Out of the eight approved foreign venture capital (VC) fund managers and their Malaysian partners selected as part of the DPN programme, three have successfully reached their final close target ahead of the deadline,” the company said in a statement yesterday.
DPN is a matching fund-of-funds programme, part of the Short-Term National Economic Recovery Plan.
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz (picture) said ensuring Malaysian start-up space can overcome their Covid-19-related funding challenges underscored DPN’s objective.
He further said the funding programme aims to help start-ups continue innovating to contribute to the nation’s advancement in various sectors, including mobility, agriculture and healthcare.
“The projects that have been selected are developing solutions premised on innovative, cutting-edge tech, all of which could help Malaysia make that quantum leap towards its MyDigital vision much quicker than expected,” Tengku Zafrul said in the statement.
The government will match RM600 million, on a one-on-one ratio basis, of the funds raised by the VC fund managers from foreign and private domestic investors with a target allocation of RM1.2 billion.
The successful first close means the programme is likely to meet the target of RM1.2 billion.
DPN aims to bridge the funding gap by incentivising private capital to facilitate the growth of start-ups and create an enabling environment for these companies to scale and internationalise.
Penjana Kapital said the DPN is a crucial lifeline for local start-ups, beyond being a vehicle to attract foreign capital to Malaysia.
From the RM850 million raised, a combined total of RM118 million has been approved for investment in nine start-ups in various fields, including mobility, financial technology and agricultural technology.
Penjana Kapital said the portfolio of start-ups is committed to deliver tangible economic benefits to the Malaysian economy and create at least 1,400 high-quality jobs in the process.
“DPN’s matching investment programme is not only attracting private capital, but also ensuring risk diversification benefits to the portfolio,” it said.
Penjana Kapital noted the number of funds to be invested from the programme of at least RM1.2 billion over two years is sizeable relative to the total committed VC funds under management in Malaysia of around RM4.4 billion as at end-2020.
“This sizeable injection of funding is expected to catalyse the local VC ecosystem and positively impact the local start-up space,” it added.