KUALA LUMPUR, 4 JUNE 2014 – Early stage ecosystem influencer, Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd (Cradle), has joined forces with Singapore-based seed fund provider, Golden Gate Ventures Pte Ltd (GGV) to co-invest in Malaysian early-stage technology companies to fund their goals for global expansion.
The two organisations have agreed to a one-to-one match in funding amount. This means that with every amount GGV provides in funding, Cradle will fund an equal amount into the selected technology start-up but it will not take any equity in the invested company.
Under the agreement, Cradle and GGV will fund up to five companies a year with an annual total allocation of RM2.5mil (about SG$960,689). Selected technology start-ups will each receive a maximum of RM500,000 or the equivalent amount in Singapore Dollars.
Nazrin Hassan, Cradle
“We are elated to have this partnership with GGV as they have been long-time collaborators with Cradle. This co-investment partnership takes the relationship to the next level. GGV also gives us additional insights and experience in investing in start-ups which Cradle may not currently have,” he said.
Nazrin also sees Cradle’s expansion into co-investment as one of the steps for attracting foreign investors, especially venture capitalists and angel groups, to invest in technology business deals in Malaysia.
“This will be a boon for our entrepreneurs who are seeking to raise further funds to support their business growth as they will not have to venture across Malaysian shores to seek for investors. It is also hoped that with a larger pool of discerning foreign investors, it will encourage our Malaysian entrepreneurs to be more global in their approach and market access,” he said.
GGV founding partner, Jeffrey Paine, said the partnership would enable it to better prepare Malaysian technology companies to compete on the world stage.
“With our partnership with Cradle, resources will be made available to entrepreneurs with ambitions for a global expansion – whether their target is the Southeast Asian region or the United States. We also find the diversity of the Malaysian technology start-up scene very interesting but in order to help these entrepreneurs achieve their goals, we need a local partner to help us gain a cultural understanding of these companies. Cradle fits that bill,” Paine said.
GGV has been instrumental in the success of some of Southeast Asia’s names in the technology industry including online supermarket, RedMart.com, mobile payments provider, Coda Payments and cloud-based web development platform, Nitrous.io. To date, it has invested in 18 companies in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.
In its 10-year history, Cradle has funded over 600 technology start-ups through its CIP Catalyst product development grant and its CIP 500 product commercialisation grant. Funded companies include taxi booking mobile application, MyTeksi, financial planning website, Intelligent Money, infographic design web tool, Piktochart and hypoglycaemic-shock alert bracelet, Hypoband. It also has a commercialisation rate of 58%, deemed to be the highest among all government grant agencies.
The Cradle-GGV co-investment initiative is the first of its kind for Cradle and plans are in the pipeline to forge similar partnerships with local venture capitalists and angel syndicates. These partnerships will be announced in due time.
“Such initiatives are timely as we prepare for the gradual reduction of government grants towards supporting early stage start-ups,” Nazrin said adding that Cradle plans to channel 50% of its funding allocation to co-investing initiatives by 2017.