MDV announces framework for technology start-up relief funding

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Debt Ventures Bhd (MDV) has announced that the first round of applications for the RM100mil relief funding facility for technology start-ups will take place from May 18 to 31.

Subsequent application windows will be opened until the entire fund is fully committed.

The Technology Start-ups Funding Relief Facility (TSFRF) was announced last week by Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaludin to offer cash flow support to technology start-ups in the country.

MDV said in a statement that the funds are offered in the form of working capital or business expansion requirements to help the start-ups sustain their business operations during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

"The TSFRF is meant to address liquidity challenges faced by tech start-ups in this current period by having on-hand working capital facilities to mitigate cash flow issues going forward.

"It is also meant to shorten time-to-money with lesser application requirements; shorter due diligence and credit assessment processes; minimal legal documentation requirements; and quick disbursement processes.

"Tech start-ups will also not have to bear any additional fees and charges for the facility,” said MDV CEO Nizam Mohamad Nadzri.

He added that applicants will not need hard collateral and will only be required to provide a personal guarantee and debenture under the facility.

According to MDV, the facility functions similarly to a revolving credit facility with disbursements requested on demand or based on six-month rolling cash flow requirements per applicant.

Outstanding balances of the principal can be rolled-over semiannually, providing flexibility in managing repayment.

“What this means is that applicants would have the option to service the financing interest while principal repayment can be brought forward to the next next months and so on until the expiry of the facility tenure,” said Nizam.

The facility targets to benefit 40 to 60 technology start-ups that are backed by either venture capital companies or government agencies. Companies applying for the funds must also meet the criteria that the majority of the company's equity is owned by Malaysians, the majority of its staff comprise of Malaysians and the majority of its revenues are generated in Malaysia.

The development of the TSFRF involved a series of engagement sessions with various parties in the start-up space. Technology enablers Cradle, MAVCAP, MaGIC and MDEC in particular had provided the requirements of their constituent companies and facilitated the development of the TSFRF. Each agency will also provide access to the tech start-ups within its purview for application of the programme.

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