Malaysia’s early stage startups influencer, Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd (Cradle) yesterday announced the appointment of Rafiza Ghazali (pic) as the Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from 1 June 2020.
Cradle describes Rafiza as bringing a wealth of experience in strategy, innovation, finance and management. She is currently the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Velesto Energy Bhd, a Malaysian-based player in the upstream oil & gas sector.
In a press release, Cradle describes Rafiza as having started her career at Arthur Anderson & Co in Australia. She later held senior roles in several leading organisations including Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), RHB Investment Bank Bhd, Thomson Reuters and Sime Darby Bhd.
“Rafiza’s appointment reinforces the Board’s commitment to ensuring Cradle’s role in creating a sustainable ecosystem for the startup community. Our immediate priority in this current Covid-19 crisis is to enable Malaysian startups and tech entrepreneurs navigate through the challenges and to evolve with the changing landscape. This search for the CEO role has gone through an extensive process, working closely with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and the Ministry of Finance (MOF),” said Yvonne Chia, Chairman of Cradle.
The Board expressed its appreciation to Razif Abdul Aziz, currently the Acting Group CEO who will resume back his role as Chief Operating Officer from June 1, 2020.
Rafiza will be helming a public agency that, throughout its 17-years history, has helped fund over 1,000 Malaysian tech startups and holds the highest commercialisation rate amongst government grants in the country.
Having more than a decade of experience in the nation’s grant funding scene, Cradle further expanded its role from grant provider to investor through the establishment of its venture arm, Cradle Seed Ventures in 2015 and following its portfolio expansion to equity investment in early 2017, Cradle offers both funding and investment assistance through its Cradle Investment Programme 300 (CIP300) and Direct Equity 800 (DEQ800) until late 2019.
Cradle also runs a market-driven programme to train entrepreneurs and administers the Angel Tax Incentive (ATIO), designed for angel investors to be accorded a tax deduction of up to RM500,000 to stimulate and encourage angel investments from private sector into technology based start-up companies in Malaysia.
Cradle’s product offerings are not only restricted to monetary aid, but also include commercialisation support, coaching and various other value-added services to cater today’s entrepreneurs’ diversified needs.