Active venture capital environment will create opportunities for start-ups to grow

Investors play a crucial role in driving innovation and growth in the start-up scene in Malaysia by providing capital, expertise, and strategic guidance to start-ups and entrepreneurs.

As Malaysia seeks to diversify its economy and embrace emerging industries such as technology, renewable energy, and the creative arts, investor support is instrumental in unlocking the potential of these sectors and driving economic development.

At the recently-concluded KL20 Summit 2024, Hazman Hilmi, Retirement Fund (Incorporated) (KWAP’s) chief investment officer, said Malaysia is seeing more capital allocators and investors in Southeast Asia.

“In Malaysia, in particular, we are at the forefront of stark improvement in ability, likeability, and visibility,” said Hazman.

At the forefront of investor support lies their pivotal contribution in providing early-stage funding to nascent start-ups and visionary entrepreneurs. By injecting capital into innovative concepts and high-potential ventures, investors ignite the spark of growth and forge pathways for fresh opportunities in sectors that may languish under the radar of conventional financing avenues.

Yet, their impact transcends mere financial backing. Investors also bring invaluable expertise, expansive networks, and seasoned mentorship to the table, equipping start-ups with the tools needed to navigate obstacles and scale their ventures with precision and agility.

Nordstar managing partner Ole Ruch said having an active venture capital environment means that companies will have opportunities to build businesses, hire teams and the right talent, and, in turn, actually create something for themselves, and the broader economy.

Moreover, investors serve as architects of ecosystem development and infrastructure within Malaysia’s start-up scene, architecting a landscape ripe for innovation and competitiveness. Through strategic investments in research and development, technology transfer initiatives, and collaborative industry partnerships, investors bolster the growth trajectory of emerging industries, laying down robust foundations for sustained advancement.

In parallel, their support extends to pivotal initiatives such as start-up accelerators, incubators, and collaborative co-working spaces, which furnish start-ups and entrepreneurs with essential resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities crucial for their journey towards success.

In tune with evolving global trends, investors are increasingly gravitating towards impact investing – a paradigm that harmonises financial returns with social and environmental impact. This burgeoning movement sees investors channelling capital towards start-ups and enterprises poised to address pressing societal issues spanning poverty alleviation, healthcare accessibility, educational empowerment, and environmental sustainability.

By aligning their investment portfolios with impactful goals, investors wield the power to effect tangible change within Malaysia’s start-up landscape, catalysing a ripple effect of positive transformation while reaping sustainable financial returns.

Granite Asia senior managing partner Jenny Lee also highlighted the role of the government in the start-up scene.

“It is important that the government also looks into how Malaysia is going to connect with the region and the world on multiple fronts,” said Lee.

“Build the market, the capital, and talent, and great outcomes will come,” she added.

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