Penjana Kapital: Regional partnership enables M’sian startups to access US$1 trln Indonesian mart

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 — Malaysia’s startups stand a higher chance of go-to-market success in the Indonesian US$1-trillion economy following the agreement signed between Penjana Kapital Sdn Bhd (Penjana Kapital) and AC Ventures, a leading Indonesian venture capital (VC) investment firm.

“We are pleased with AC Ventures’ decision to partner with Penjana Kapital and invest in the Malaysian startup space.

“These funds are crucial to spur our startup ecosystem, by encouraging innovation and equipping Malaysian innovators with the necessary resources to scale and succeed, particularly in Indonesia, the largest consumer market in Southeast Asia,” Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said in a statement today.

Penjana Kapital was incorporated in 2020 as part of the Malaysian government’s initiative to catalyse the development of innovative startup companies while AC Ventures is a VC investment firm focusing on Southeast Asia.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Tengku Zafrul witnessed the partnership signing ceremony between Penjana Kapital and AC Ventures during the the Prime Minister’s four-day working visit to Jakarta.

AC Ventures is one of the eight VC fund managers selected as part of Dana Penjana Nasional, a programme administered by Penjana Kapital.

AC Ventures has partnered with Translink Capital and Vertex Force to invest in Dana Penjana Nasional’s SEA Frontier Fund focused on funding promising Malaysian startups to, among others, expand into Indonesia and form partnerships within the regional technology ecosystem.

With nearly 100 companies in its portfolio, AC Ventures has backed the likes of Carsome, Xendit, Stockbit, Eden Farm, Ula, and many other unicorns.

Through AC Ventures’ investment, the SEA Frontier Fund will double down on its strategy of identifying and funding startups with the potential for cross-border regional expansion.

The SEA Frontier Fund has also attracted commitments from strategic foreign investors including a global conglomerate from South Korea.

The SEA Frontier Fund, with a current fund size of RM200 million, aims to raise an additional RM100 million in the next three months.

Penjana Kapital sees opportunities for Malaysian startups in a few identified sectors under “Making Indonesia 4.0” such as automotive, agriculture and food, as well as healthcare.

Dana Penjana Nasional has, thus far, raised a total commitment of RM995.4 million for its eight funds as of October 2021 on a matching basis of roughly 1:1, whereby the Ministry of Finance will match every ringgit that is successfully brought in by the fund.

Out of the total, RM562.7 million came from foreign and private local investors. Penjana Kapital also announced that Dana Penjana Nasional has approved 30 investments valued at RM267.2 million, of which two have recently attained “unicorn” status, whereby startups are worth over US$1 billion.


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