MDEC ties up with Axiata Group to expand startup co-working space

Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) is collaborating with Axiata Digital, the digital services arm of Axiata Group under the Malaysia Digital Hub initiative, to expand startup co-working space outside of the Klang Valley early next year.

Speaking to reporters after announcing the partnership above, chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood said the expansion will cater to startup ecosystem growth beyond the Klang Valley and among the potential destinations were Penang and Johor as well as Sabah and Sarawak, according to The Star.

The latest deal will also see Axiata Digital extending the services of its Application Programming Interface (API) platform, known as Mobile Internet Fulfilment Exchange (MIFE), to Malaysian businesses as a gateway into the regional marketplace across its footprint countries in Asean and South Asia.

In a statement, MDEC's spokesperson said, "Collaborating with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) via its Malaysia Digital Hub initiative, the extension of Axiata Digital’s MIFE platform will enhance regional market access for Malaysian businesses consisting of domestic and global tech companies. MDEC’s Malaysia Digital Hub provides start-ups and tech entrepreneurs the connections and dynamic workspace to achieve rapid growth. It also offers incentives for growth to start-ups, investors, global tech companies, accelerators, and talent builders to help businesses achieve scale."

In line with MDEC’s catalytic role in driving Malaysia’s transition towards a developed digital economy by 2020, the collaboration is expected to open up a secure, fast, and a cost efficient way for Malaysian-based digital and online businesses to compete in the high-growth regional digital space. "With this collaboration, both parties hope to expand the distribution capabilities for Malaysian businesses to scale up, innovate, and grow their businesses faster at reduced costs," MDEC's spokesperson added.

Axiata Digital’s platform allows for faster customer engagement, and secure payment processes by enabling billing via existing pre-paid or post-paid accounts, SMS notifications, experience username and password free user authentication and login.

Developed in accordance with global API standards and form, Axiata Digital’s MIFE platform provides businesses a secure access to API services and solutions without exposure to the backend systems and information. As customer privacy becomes increasingly important, Axiata Digital and all Axiata companies uphold the highest level of customer data security and protection. For this reason, the MIFE platform was built as a plug-and-play interface wherein companies who want to access API services can do it via MIFE without connecting to the backend system.

“Malaysia continues to attract interests from start-ups and entrepreneurs worldwide. Strategically located at the heart of ASEAN, Malaysia connects businesses to a regional market of more than 625 million people," Mahmood said.

"Through this collaboration with Axiata Digital, Malaysian digital and online businesses can offer better consumer experience and better monetisation opportunities. We believe this will help provide Malaysia’s start-ups unprecedented access to Axiata’s regional customer base with ease,” she added.

“We are excited to partner with MDEC and jointly fast-track the digital transformation amongst Malaysian businesses. We especially look forward for Malaysian digital and start-up companies to plug into our API platform to scale and grow their businesses not only within Malaysia but also across the other Axiata markets. Furthermore, there are additional features on MIFE that protects both customers and businesses with the highest level of security,” Chief executive officer of Axiata Digital, Mohd Khairil Abdullah said.

Launched in August 2015, MIFE has built a network of global and regional partners including major marketplaces such as the Apple App Store and Google Playstore. The collaboration with MDEC spells a new milestone for MIFE to connect to MDEC’s digital hubs and leverage each other’s networks. In light of this, MIFE has also developed the Malaysian Access Gateway (MAG), a self-service portal for start-up companies to use MIFE’s APIs.