HSBC Malaysia launches RM500mil startup fund

HSBC's Karel Doshi said the fund was looking to support startups as they move from one stage to the next.

KUALA LUMPUR: HSBC Malaysia has launched a first-of-its kind fund that will focus on developing tech-led startups and emerging businesses in the country.

The “HSBC New Economy Fund” is worth RM500mil and will be made available to startups that have reached a Series B stage and have shown demonstrable growth, measured through the quarters, and want to continue tapping into the digital economy.

HSBC Malaysia head of commercial banking Karel Doshi said the fund was looking to support startups as they move from one stage to the next.

“The fund will remain sector agnostic. We are looking at players in financial technology, eCommerce, food and agritech, energy, healthcare and the green technology sectors,” she told reporters after the launch of the fund yesterday.

According to Karel, reaction towards the fund has been positive so far and the bank has been gaining insight on how best to help emerging startups in Malaysia.

“Startups will have access to this fund through relationship managers that will be able to provide assistance and direction on where to go from here. They have been specially trained to work with emerging businesses,” she said.

Karel added the bank had a team of dedicated sector specialists, including one based in Malaysia and another based regionally, who would be able to help Malaysian businesses understand the fund better.

HSBC Malaysia will continue to offer working capital, treasury management and payments and cash management solutions to meet the needs of these startups through the different stages of their lifecycle.

Karel said that delving into the new economy with the aim to support tech-led startups was not a Malaysian play on its own, but geared towards South-East Asia and Asia as a whole.

HSBC as a group has so far invested US$2bil globally into its commercial banking to improve digital capabilities while continuing to develop solutions for its customers.

“As a group, we are doubling down in support for the new economy. It is a bright spot in the global economy that is facing macro headwinds. For now, we have funds in a few markets, including US$200mil in Singapore, US$250mil in India and a US$250mil fund that is about to be launched in Australia,” she said.

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