Pikom SEA Dragon Venture Platform to connect global investors with scale ups from Malaysia
By Digital News Asia May 22, 2018
- 32 scaleups from Southeast Asia to pitch to top investors
- Companies via platform stand to receive funding of up to US$25 million
THE National ICT Association of Malaysia (Pikom) unveiled its inaugural SEA Dragon Venture Platform recently, aimed at connecting scale up companies in Malaysia and across the Southeast Asia region with global venture capitalists, corporate investors and high net-worth individuals.
Pikom chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah said that the association’s latest industry initiative stems from the fact that lack of funding and lack of public exposure are some of the biggest hurdles faced by companies in the scaleup stage.
“It’s a chicken and egg situation where on one side investors want to see results and on the other side, these companies need investment to be able to show tangible results,” said Ganesh at a press conference held after the launch of the Pikom SEA Dragon Venture Platform.
“Through this platform, we could be looking at some of these companies receiving funding of up to US$25 million in this platform,” said Ganesh.
170 becomes 32
The SEA Dragon Venture Platform has proven to be a fruitful initiative, attracting more than 170 companies from Malaysia and SEA region ready to wow the investors to get the much-needed funding to take them to the next level.
It was no easy task as the stakes were high and after a grueling first round phase, about 40-45 companies were shortlisted from the initial 170 plus applicants by the advisory committee comprising partners of this platform.
In the second round, these companies were further screened via phone interviews before moving on to the next round based on three broad areas of growth, technology and the funding amount to be raised.
After several mentoring sessions, two companies were dropped to reveal the final 32 companies who will be given the opportunity to directly pitch to more than 40 venture capitalists, investors and high net worth individuals (see partial list in Table 1) from China, Silicon Valley, Hong Kong, Malaysia and across the region.
“These investors are actively investing in the Asean, China and North Asian markets and are constantly on the look out for companies with the right idea and strategy to invest in. If selected not only will these companies receive funding but valuable mentoring by these established companies,” said Ganesh.
Pikom is pleased to announce that out of these 32 companies who made the final cut after the two-month four-round intense selection process, about 60% were Malaysian companies.
“We would like to congratulate these 32 companies and look forward to see them bloom to reach their full potential once they successfully gain the investors’ confidence and their desired funding,” said Ganesh.
Pikom’s SEA Dragon Venture Platform is broken into two categories of funding based on the pitch and potential of these startups and scaleups.
- Series A: US$1 million to US$3 million
- Series B/C: US$3 million to US$25 million or more
“This is the first of more such opportunities under the Pikom SEA Dragon Venture Platform that will be available for scale ups across the region. We hope to get more applications from potential companies looking for investors. At the same time, we hope that more investors will come forward to join our SEA Dragon Venture Platform which is not only playing a matchmaker role to great ideas and the right funding but also building the Southeast Asia funding eco-system,” added Ganesh.
The Sea Dragon Venture Platform is organised by Pikom with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) as strategic partner.
MDEC chief executive officer Yasmin Mahmood, welcomed the investors and Asean scaleups to Sea Dragon Venture Platform.
“Malaysia’s digital economy continues to be a key driver of growth; contributing over 18.2% to Malaysia’s GDP this year and is expected to exceed our milestone of 20% before 2020,” said Yasmin. “At the SEA Dragon Venture Platform, we are excited to connect the Malaysian scaleup ecosystem with investors across the world and further establish Malaysia’s position as the prominent digital and tech hub in the Asean region.”
Pikom Venture Investment Chapter Committee chair C S Chin said the Pikom SEA Dragon Venture Platform is Southeast Asian premier venture pitching platform for hot scaleup companies looking for VC funding, business mentoring and global market expansion.
“Pikom SEA Dragon Venture Platform is the first in a series of events that will take place this year. We will also be announcing an event exclusively for startups to be held at the end of the year,” said Chin.
The Pikom SEA Dragon Venture Platform would not have been possible without the support from the industry and Pikom would like to express its appreciation to Gold Partner Fusionex; Silver Partners Global Entrepreneurship Movement, MDV, Cyberview, Commerce.Asia Capital and GreenPro and Bronze Partners Cradle, Mavcap, SCCW Holdings Sdn Bhd, pitchIN and MaGIC.