KUALA LUMPUR: Axiata Group Bhd is setting up a RM100mil venture fund with Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd (Mavcap) to nurture bumiputra and Malaysian digital services innovators.
“Axiata will commit RM50mil to the Axiata Digital Innovation Fund (ADIF), while Mavcap will commit RM20mil to the first phase. The remaining will be raised from other principal investors,” president and group chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Seri Jamaludin Ibrahim (pic)said at the launch of the fund here.
The event was witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
“We have not (identified principal investors), but are talking to a few. It will be in phase two. We believe this will be a success,” Jamaludin said.
He said 70% of the fund would be allocated to the bumiputra segment, while the rest would go to all Malaysians. He urged bumiputra companies to work with other Malaysians to create a win-win situation for all.
Jamaludin said in a jest that the fund looked for Ali and Baba and not Alibaba. Alibaba Group is a China e-commerce company with a sensational initial public offering success.
ADIF, which is the country’s largest digital corporate venture capital fund, will aid companies in the digital services space with innovative products and market fit. These companies will be revenue-generating but require support to grow in terms of funding, know-how and market access. The fund targets series A-level investments.
Jamaludin hopes to build five to 10 regional champions in digital services by 2020 with the availability of the fund.
“We intend to nurture talent, enabling them to grow bigger and faster with this programme,.
“This is very much in line with our goal of ‘Advancing Asia’ via connectivity, technology and talent.
“We also aim to make a real difference in people’s lives and help transform the economies of the countries in which we operate,” he added.
Mavcap CEO Jamaludin Bujang said for a company to be eligible for the fund, it must have a scalable product and an economical business plan.
“They must have all the boxes ticked and attractive valuations,” he added.
He said the fund was targeted to be launched by year-end, with a maximum funding of RM10mil and benefiting between 10 and 15 companies.
Mavcap and its partners, Teak Capital and Questmark Capital, are ADIF’s fund managers.