Malaysia on track to grow global tech start-up ecosystem

  • Over 25 regional, global tech start-ups will expand into Malaysia and springboard to Asean
  • Mountain Partners will set-up US$100 million fund to invest in Malaysia, SEA startups


Malaysia on track to grow global tech start-up ecosystem


MALAYSIA reaffirmed its position as a regional hub for tech startups with the announcement of leading global venture builders setting presence in Malaysia to help accelerate the growth of startups in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.

Mountain Partners, a Swiss-headquartered company builder, will set-up their Southeast Asia operations hub in Malaysia.

The set-up will see Mountain Partners helping more than 15 of their global portfolio companies expand into Malaysia by creating their presence here, and creating more than 400 job opportunities, including more than 50 top C-suite talent roles.

Mountain Partners will also set-up a US$100 million (RM422 million) fund to invest in Malaysia and Southeast Asia tech startups.

Additionally, the partnership between the private equity firm Leonie Hill Capital and Japan-based IP Bridge will see Malaysia as the home ground for their venture-building initiative that will invest and nurture Malaysian and Southeast Asian innovative Intellectual Property-based tech startups, particularly in IoT, sensor and wearable technology, agri-tech and food-tech. 

The partnership, through IP Bridge’s global expansion initiative, ManGO Factory, will also relocate more than 10 Southeast Asian and Japanese startups in Malaysia, providing them with facilities, access and market opportunities in Malaysia and Japan.

Leonie Hill Capital will provide expertise in commercialisation, while IP Bridge will provide expertise on Intellectual Property strategy and advisory.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak noted: “Malaysia has the right ecosystem for global tech start-ups to set-up and grow in this region. Located at the heart of Asean, Malaysia is the gateway for tech start-ups to expand their reach to the Southeast Asia market. On top of that, our strong infrastructure and reduced cost of doing business are conducive to support and encourage the growth of start-ups.

“While Malaysia is set to become a regional hub for tech start-ups, what this really means is more high-skilled jobs will be created through this initiative, thus giving Malaysians more opportunities - economically and socially,”

“The strategic efforts placed by Mountain Partners, Leonie Hill Capital and IP Bridge will complement Malaysia’s initiatives in building a robust start-up ecosystem as Malaysia continues to provide regional and global start-ups the platform to scale in Southeast Asia,” said Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) chief executive officer Yasmin Mahmood.

Providing start-ups and entrepreneurs a conducive ecosystem

MDEC launched the Malaysia Digital Hub initiative in April this year to further enrich Malaysia’s start-up ecosystem.

It is a place where start-ups and scale-ups co-exist with growth ecosystem players such as venture capitals, accelerators, anchor internet companies, talent builders and mentors. Equipped with high-speed broadband and lifestyle amenities, the digital hubs are owned and operated by the industry where MDEC will certify them with Digital Hub status.

Today, there are four locations certified under this initiative, namely APW, The Co., Common Ground and WORQ.

In further enriching the ecosystem in these hubs, strategic partners like Microsoft, Axiata, Alibaba, Maybank, and Y Academy with Kejora, among others were brought in to run programmes that would help the start-ups grow.

As part of the efforts to push forward Malaysia’s plan to become a hub for tech start-ups, MDEC also introduced Malaysia Tech Entrepreneur Programme (MTEP), an initiative by the Malaysian government that aims to attract gifted and ambitious individuals from all around the world, and help them to kick-start their start-ups in Malaysia.

Entrepreneur passes of one or five years are given to qualified new and established entrepreneurs.


Malaysia on track to grow global tech start-up ecosystem


Najib earlier chaired the 29th Implementation Council Meeting that brings together the nation’s decision makers, including the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, policy makers, and heads of agencies into high-level update briefings and discussions that MDEC oversees.

As one the agencies driving the growth of digital transformation in the country, MDEC presented to the committee plans and initiatives that are needed to accelerate Malaysia’s push to become a fully developed digital nation.


Related Stories:
UK trade mission leverages on Malaysia’s tech future
Five Malaysian startups seek to enter Indonesian market via Expand programme
Digital hubs, MTEP mark expansion of MDEC support to startup ecosystem


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