MDEC to provide funding facilitation support for startups

KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 — The Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) has announced two funding facilitation initiatives for 2021, namely Founders Grindstone, a capacity-building programme for startups, and Investor Matching, which aims to match startups with venture capitals (VCs).

In a statement today, it said the initiatives would also elevate the proficiency of startup founders to navigate the complexities of fundraising and fulfilling the gruelling demands of potential investors.

“Both Founders Grindstone and Investor Matching aim to provide much needed avenue for many Malaysian-based startups to connect with global and local investors, and potentially raise funds during these tough times,” said MDEC Digitally Powered Businesses Division vice-president, Gopi Ganesalingam.

Apart from potential investments, he said some of the VCs were also open for other types of support, such as mentoring, providing access to their ongoing programmes and strategic partnerships.

Gopi noted that MDEC would draw on the collective experience of its top partners to provide stewardship and advice to techpreneurs as it focuses on scaling digitally-powered businesses.

“This will enable Malaysian techpreneurs to go beyond their current pastures, ready to earn global recognition and further position Malaysia as the Heart of Digital Asean,” he added.

Founders Grindstone was introduced in 2020, offering a series of intensive workshops with professional partners from VCs, venture builders and legal firms as speakers and mentors, followed by a pitching session at the end of the workshop for 20 shortlisted startups to help local techpreneurs in the fundraising journey.

This year, the initiative will extend its partnership to more legal firms and VCs, and will also work with the recipients of PENJANA Kapital as part of the governments efforts to accelerate Malaysia’s economic recovery, said MDEC.

Meanwhile, the Investor Matching initiative was introduced last year to provide an avenue for Malaysian startups to be matched with MDEC’s pool of VCs.

Last year, MDEC said 176 startups had applied for the programme, which saw 104 VCs and investors participating, with funding request totalling US$212 million (US$1=RM4.11).

It added that this year, it aims to raise the startup-investors matching rate to 50 per cent, compared with 37.5 per cent last year.



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