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Published 19 February, 2020
No sooner had her recent farewell email gone out, announcing her departure from Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd after a five year stint, that Scaleup Malaysia moved fast to announce that Xelia Tong has joined the growth accelerator as Managing Partner joining Managing Partners Tay Shan Li and Andre Sequerah, Senior Partners, Dr V Sivapalan and Renuka Sena and General Partner, Aaron Sarma.
“We are truly honoured to have someone of Xelia’s caliber join our team. Her understanding of the Malaysian ecosystem of startups and investors will be a truly valuable addition to our team,” says Sivapalan.
According to Sarma, Xelia and the partners at ScaleUp Malaysia have known each other for many years and when they heard that she was leaving Cradle, “we certainly saw an opportunity to collaborate with her, hence bringing her into the team,” he says.
Xelia’s area of responsibility would be to head up investor relations for ScaleUp Malaysia and focus on helping companies in the cohort secure investments and strategic partnerships. While the current cohort in ScaleUp Malaysia are Malaysian companies, this could change in future cohorts. “However, Xelia’s role would be to set up partnerships and investments for our companies regardless of where these opportunities come from,” explains Sarma.
Xelia will also develop and execute commercial strategies for ScaleUp Malaysia, the latest accelerator launched in Malaysia last year, and its cohort of companies.
Focusing exclusively on growth stage companies in Malaysia – ScaleUp Malaysia helps them position the business for exponential growth through an intensive training program that covers business functions such as finance, human resources, marketing & sales, technology, product and strategy.
Xelia is no stranger to the Malaysian startup scene. For the last 5 years, she has served as Vice President, Investment and Head of Angel Tax Incentive for Cradle Fund. During her tenure she viewed more than 4,000 pitches and facilitated the funding of 185 entrepreneurs, some of whom went on to raise in total close to RM90 million from both local and foreign investors. “I truly love the vision of ScaleUp Malaysia in how it aims to find and develop outstanding ‘pegasus’ companies. Being in the startup space has become my life’s passion for more than half a decade. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the ScaleUp Malaysia team and to work with some truly remarkable entrepreneurs,” says Xelia (pic, right).
In Dec 2019, ScaleUp Malaysia announced that 20 companies have been accepted into its inaugural Cohort. And come April, 10 companies will receive an investment of US$48,273 (RM200,000) each, with the ScaleUp team actively supporting these businesses through strategic advisory, investor matching and partner introductions for up to 24 months after the program. Xelia now becomes a key asset to help ScaleUp Malaysia deliver on its promise to its cohort.