Early stage tech companies to benefit from additional funding

  • kipleX and Ficus join NTIS as funding partners
  • Both companies to fund up to RM2 mil

Early stage tech companies to benefit from additional fundingThe National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) announced the addition of kipleX and Ficus Venture Capital to its stable of funding partners, with the aim of strengthening public-private sector collaborations in driving economic recovery and growth.

In a statement, it said Ficus will fund between RM500,000 and RM2 million per deal, while kipleX will fund from RM500,000 up to a maximum of RM2 million per investment between 2020 and 2023.

[RM1 = US$0.24]

“These collaborations expand our innovation to commercialisation funnel, allowing more early stage technology companies to participate in the sandbox,” said Amiruddin Abdul Shukor, acting chief executive officer (CEO) of the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), which serves as the lead secretariat for the NTIS.

“Currently, projects funded are those which are at the technology readiness level (TRL) stage six or above.

“With more investment and funding options available, we can support more companies trying to mature their product innovation, especially through this trying period,” he added.

Since its launch, the agency said it has received over 500 complete applications, with more than 150 already receiving funding, technical and marketing support. About half of these approved projects are related to developing advanced intelligence systems products and solutions. 

In terms of sectoral application, more than 50% of the approved projects are geared to benefit the medical and healthcare, agriculture and forestry, and energy industries, it said.

“Of the on-going implementation, 72 Malaysian companies have been approved for funding. The addition of private venture capital funding in NTIS allows foreign companies to now participate in the programme,” said Amiruddin.

Ficus Venture Capital invests in promising seed-stage to Series A tech startups across Southeast Asia especially in the areas of logistics, greentech, e-commerce, fintech, big data analytics, healthtech, cloud services and edutech.

“In addition to funding, Ficus will assist NTIS participants to improve their market and product validation. We have a network of mentors from across the world to mature the technical and market readiness of companies,” said Nor’Azamin Salleh, chairman of Ficus VC. 

“We are pleased to contribute to this national agenda, to enable the NTIS-approved project owners to deliver their objectives.

“As a venture capital firm, we typically invest in early-stage tech companies in the areas of fintech, mobility, Internet of things (IoT), proptech, and artificial intelligence (AI) but are open to explore other emerging technology verticals,” said Andrew Tan, chief executive officer of kipleX.

He added that as the venture capital fund of Green Packet Berhad, kipleX will provide consultancy and mentorship in areas such as fundraising, design thinking, technology product design and development, and software engineering.

With the addition of Ficus and kipleX, the NTIS siad it now has 23 innovation acceleration network partners to offer support in terms of regulatory, funding, technology, facility, subject matter expertise and market access to NTIS participants.

The NTIS is an initiative by the Malaysian government to fast-track the commercialisation of products and solutions.

Amongst others, it offers funding, regulatory and technical support to researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs. It also allows products and services to be tested in a live environment, which are aimed at accelerating the go-to-market process.

To apply to participate in the NTIS, please visit


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