Singapore-based VC Quest Ventures on Tuesday announced a partnership with ScaleUp, an accelerator focusing on growth-stage startups in Malaysia, committing an investment of USD 1 million to develop Malaysian startups.
Only back in December, the accelerator announced its first cohort of 20 companies. Quest Ventures will now invest at least USD 60,250 in up to 12 startups from ScaleUp’s second cohort.
“Our partnership with ScaleUp Malaysia will enable us to support the top tech talent teeming in Malaysia and provide necessary and timely support to power their disruptive businesses to break into the post-pandemic emerging Asia markets,” said James Tan, managing partner of Quest Ventures.
ScaleUp Malaysia helps growth stage startups develop into businesses with high revenue and profitability by guiding participants through an intensive training program. From each cohort, 10 companies will receive investment and guidance for up to 24 months, according to the announcement.
Applications for the second cohort open on September 8. Shortlisted startups will start their journey in October 2020 and pitch their solutions to the investment committee at the end of the training program.
Malaysia had the second-highest number of startups in Southeast Asia in 2018 but accounts for less than 2% of total funding from the region.
The government is leading concerted efforts to grow the ecosystem. For instance, the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) introduced an entrepreneur program, which aims to attract tech founders to Malaysia by providing 1-year and 5-year passes for new and established entrepreneurs respectively. In July, MDEC also announced a collaboration with Huawei to position Malaysia as Southeast Asia’s digital hub.