Axiata partners Mavcap in RM100m venture capital fund

KUALA LUMPUR: Axiata Group Bhd has teamed up with Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd (Mavcap) to establish a RM100 million venture capital fund, the Axiata Digital Innovation Fund (ADIF) to encourage and spur innovation as well as growth of Malaysia's digital ecosystem.

Axiata president and group CEO Datuk Seri Jamaludin Ibrahim said the company will be committing RM50 million to the fund while Mavcap will be contributing RM20 million under the first phase.

He said the remaining RM30 million will be raised from other principal investors under the second phase.

"We have not identified (the potential principal investors) yet. But we are already talking to people," Jamaludin told reporters after Axiata and Mavcap signed an agreement witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek here yesterday.

He said the fund would focus on investing in companies in the digital space such as commerce, health, and advertising, internet of things and financial services with innovative products and market fit that requires support in terms of funding, know-how and market access.

Jamaludin said the fund targeted to be ready by year-end with a maximum funding of RM10 million will benefit between 10 and 15 companies.

Mavcap CEO Jamaludin Bujang said the RM100 million fund was in line with the government's objective to build up the capabilities of local technology companies, especially the Bumiputeras.

"The new fund is in line with our aspiration to increase the availability of funding to deserving companies while at the same time reducing dependence on government funds," he said.

"We have to be confident in a company (that we want to invest) in terms of its business plan, management and good track record."

Mavcap and its partners, Teak Capital and Questmark Capital are the fund managers of this new fund.