HSBC, KPMG list 10 potential unicorns in Malaysia

by AZALEA AZUAR / Pic by  MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

HSBC Bank (M) Bhd and KPMG Management and Risk Consulting Sdn Bhd have named Boost Holdings Sdn Bhd, Exabytes Network Sdn Bhd, Jirnexu Sdn Bhd, Presto Mall Sdn Bhd, Mindvalley Inc, Neurogine, Eatcosys Sdn Bhd, Says, Lapasar.com and Policy Street as 10 potential Malaysian unicorns.

These are based on a report the two parties released called “The Emerging Giants in Asia Pacific (APAC)” which looked at 6,472 technology-focused start-ups in 12 APAC markets with valuations up to US$500 million (RM2.23 billion).

According to HSBC head of commercial banking Karel Doshi, these “Emerging Giants” show that Malaysia has the right resources for start-ups to flourish and become leaders that shape their industry.

“Financial institutions must be committed to providing start-ups the right support so they can scale beyond Malaysia to be an Emerging Giant or a unicorn,” she said in a statement today.

Meanwhile, KPMG head of technology, media and telecommunications Guy Edwards said Malaysia has also developed a good understanding of how innovation works.

“While start-ups are poised to continue playing a major role in the country’s development, some may struggle to gain the guidance and business support needed to grow.

“Beyond government support, nurturing the right ecosystem for our local start-ups requires adopting a regional outlook and encouraging strong collaborations by stakeholders in the space,” he added.

The 10 companies were selected based on how they stand out from the rest.

These include superior technology and/or technical knowledge; “hyper localised” businesses; mastery of logistics channels and supply chain operations; successful adaptations of their business models based on correct identification of market gaps; and a winning culture that attracts and retains talent.

The Securities Commissions has observed an increase in venture capitals in Malaysia, with US$1.2 billion in 2021, and this year it is expected to break that record.

More technology-focused ecosystems are maturing and creating unicorns at a faster rate as the APAC region becomes wealthier and more digitally-connected.