Pikom reveals plans to boost investments in startups


Pikom's latest chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah announced the association's latest plans to push forward the ICT industry. — Pikom

Pikom's latest chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah announced the association's latest plans to push forward the ICT industry. — Pikom

The National ICT Association of Malaysia (Pikom) aims to super charge regional startups with its Sea Dragon initiative that would match them with investors to raise up to US$25mil (RM97.82mil) in funding.

Its chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah said they would narrow down 20 promising startups – mostly Malaysians, though it was open to regional companies too – for the first upcoming session in May.

Sea Dragon would be an annual sustainable Venture Pitch Platform for South-East Asian startups seeking investments, growth and global market expansion, done in collaboration with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). 

There would be two tracks of fund raising: for earlier stage startups looking for between US$1mil-US$3mil (RM3.91mil-RM11.74mil) and more mature companies look to raise upwards of US$3mil (RM11.73mil)

“We are looking to attract investors to this platform from North Asia market including China,” said Ganesh, during his first media engagement since taking up the role of Pikom chairman last Nov.

A long time member of the tech association, Ganesh was the former Angel Chapter chairman and currently still holds the post of E-Commerce Malaysia Chapter chairman.

Though all five of Pikom's chapters would work on the initiative, it would primarily be driven by the new Venture Investment Chapter, which was rebranded from the Angel Chapter. 

“Pikom is constantly looking at how to best serve the local tech industry by having its finger on the pulse of the market. 

"The setting up of the Pikom Venture Investment Chapter is timely for 2018, as we need to put in concerted efforts to draw in more foreign investment know-how into Malaysia’s ICT industry to accelerate our young ICT companies towards achieving high growth," he said. 

The other four chapters were Pikom CIO Chapter, Outsourcing Malaysia Chapter, E-Commerce Malaysia Chapter, and Cybersecurity Chapter.

The two other projects Pikom would be focused on were its E-Commerce Fair and preparations for the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT), which would be hosted by Malaysia in 2020. 

“PIKOM’s E-Commerce Malaysia Chapter singularly drives towards the same objectives of the Government’s National E-Commerce Strategic Roadmap – that is to boost e-Commerce adoption among Malaysia’s SMEs by doubling the current number of e-Commerce-enabled SMEs to 350,000 by 2020," said Ganesh. 

He said Pikom would be co-hosting WCIT 2020 with MDEC, and though the event seemed still a long ways a way, they had to settle the theme and team behind the event. 

Pikom was the association representing the information and communications technology (ICT) industry in Malaysia, with membership comprising of over 900 ICT companies, which command about 80% of the total ICT trade in the country.