THOSE who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. Referring to the report, “SC reviews eight proposals to spur VC industry” (StarBiz, Feb 12), one of the major recommendations is to set up a fund-of-funds with matching elements and appropriate incentive mechanisms.
This is not a new idea and, in fact, had already been adopted by some government agencies such as Malaysia Venture Capital Management (Mavcap) and Ekuiti Nasional (Ekuinas) for many years over many cycles.
I remember reading about these “fund outsourcing” programmes which were publicly announced in the past, and I wonder why after hundreds of millions of taxpayers money have been spent, there are still refrains nowadays of a “funding gap” for local companies especially new ones branding themselves as “start-ups”.
Wouldn’t those hundreds of millions of ringgit spent over the years be enough for these local start-ups? Have those funds been used to invest into companies overseas instead, hence depriving local start-ups? Were there no Malaysian venture capital and private equity firms that invested into local companies?
I believe what is more important than simply recycling this fund-of-funds or fund outsourcing idea mindlessly is to study the actual implementation of the past programmes and their outcomes. This would ensure that the new programme (if there is to be one) would be free of the weaknesses, gaps and shortcomings of the past.
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