Malaysia cradles DEQ800

The government-owned Cradle Fund has allocated $1.8m to a new initiative called DEQ800 that will provide early-stage equity.

The Cradle Fund, an investment vehicle owned by the government of Malaysia, has announced DEQ800, an initiative that will offer early-stage equity to startups, Tech in Asia wrote on Monday.

Cradle launched the DEQ800 to offer startups an early-stage funding avenue other than public grants. Companies will receive between $67,000 and $180,000 through the new program.

DEQ800 will focus on areas including financial services, tourism, business services, electrical and electronics, wholesale and retail, education, healthcare, communications, agriculture, oil, gas and energy.

The Cradle Fund was established by the Ministry of Finance in 2003 with an initial $22m in capital, before receiving an additional $39m under the government’s 2011-2015 Malaysia Plan. It typically provides grants and, since 2014, also acts as a co-investor for 31 partners including VC firms, angel groups and crowdfunding services.

Nazrin Hassan, chief executive of the Cradle Fund, said: “We hope that DEQ800 could close the funding gap in the nation’s seed stage, where there are very few players that invest below [$180,000].

“With the government’s stance on reducing dependence on grants, equity investments such as DEQ800 should be able to serve as an alternative to stimulate the growth of high-potential Malaysian tech startups and make early-stage funding in Malaysia more robust eventually.

“Rather than just putting money in their ventures […] we will help build them through value-added services in the areas of mentoring, commercialization support, and many others.”

See more from this Government Report: Malaysia

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