AI in medical tech a trend in start-ups

AI is going to help companies that are data-driven and champion medical technology


MALAYSIA Venture Capital Management Bhd (MAVCAP) revealed that the trend in start-ups is artificial intelligence (AI), especially in the use of medical technology.

Its COO Noor Amy Ismail (picture) shared that AI is going to help companies that are data-driven and champion medical technology.

The venture capital (VC) is also planning to have five tech unicorns by 2035 but they are still concerned with debt.

“What we do have in our pipeline, I will invest in companies such as Aerodyne Systems Sdn Bhd, Dropee and Easy Parcel Sdn Bhd which are all companies under our portfolio and soon to be unicorns.

“Firstly, our mandate is actually to invest in deep technologies and secondly, the company has to have an uptake machine other than revenue seeking,” she said in a press conference after the MAVCAP Accelerating Ventures event.

Under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP), Noor Amy mentioned that MAVCAP is funding nine start-ups, with a total allocation of US$20 million (RM88.67 million) over the next month to support the government’s initiatives.

Meanwhile, MAVCAP CEO Shahril Anas Hasan Aziz clarified that they have been given less than RM400 million for 2021 to 2022 but they still have a seed capital.

“Every ringgit we get from the government, we need to raise it to between 35% and 50%. 

“So, this is where the smart money comes into play, so RM400 million, which is a ceiling,” he explained.

Based on its numbers from the previous 11MP, the ceiling was RM100 milion from 2016 to 2020 but they are receiving about RM43.6 million which is 50%.

On the other hand, MAVCAP CIO Paramjit Singh Gill believed that digitalisation increased during Covid-19 where even traditional businesses such as coffee shop vendors had to adopt them to survive. Therefore, it will remain as the core objective.

“I think we are also looking at something along the lines of a bit more data driven or something around the range of cloud computing, these are things that we are seeing that is quite a game changer sort of market. 

“But that is not stopping us from looking at our traditional businesses turning a bit more tech-savvy over the years,” he said.

Even though many economies have reopened and are recovering, Citigroup Inc MD and Head of Asia Equity Capital Market Udhay Furtado warns that South-East Asia may face headwinds in 2023 which are the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War and rising inflation rates.

He believes that there is a huge sum of investors coming from China and also the Middle East.

“The China money is very sophisticated capital because most of that type of money has been through 15 years of investing in start-ups and bringing in some of the leading-edge technology.

“The metaverse and AI scenes are coming out of China so it’s a very sophisticated capital which is now definitely in South-East Asia,” he said.

He also forecasted that Indonesia will benefit the most from foreign investors due to its size as well as its strong public-private partnership.

Most countries in the region are also becoming more competitive.

“It’s not just Indonesia but Thailand is doing this. They’re all late-stage companies that are tied to the public markets in the next 12 months. 

“Vietnam is doing this as well. Obviously, Singapore has a very established funding structure set up as well so we have to look into that,” Furtado mentioned.