Malaysia’s pension fund, Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP), has launched “Dana Perintis”, a new fund aimed at injecting vitality into Malaysia’s venture and start-up ecosystem. Over the next 18 to 24 months, KWAP has committed up to RM500 million to empower its early-stage companies, drive innovation and support economic resilience.
According to KWAP, Dana Perintis will encompass two strategic pillars, which are investments into selected Malaysian-focused venture capitals (VCs) and direct investments into early-stage companies. RM250 million is to be allocated for each pillar, with the aim of growth acceleration within Malaysia’s entrepreneurial landscape. This is in line with KWAP’s sustainability commitment as a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).
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“KWAP recognises the potential for innovation and growth within Malaysia’s venture ecosystem,” said Hazman Hilmi Sallahuddin, the chief investment officer of KWAP. He added that with Dana Perintis, KWAP is not only investing financial capital, but also putting in its expertise, resources, and commitment to seeing these Malaysian start-ups succeed on a global stage.
A substantial portion of up to RM250 million will be directed towards investing in VC funds with exposure focusing on Malaysia. This approach aligns with KWAP’s endeavour to support the development of a self-sustaining venture ecosystem. These VC funds serve as dynamic catalysts, nurturing innovative start-ups by providing essential capital and guidance.
KWAP’s strategic investments will span the spectrum of the start-up journey—ranging from accelerators to growth managers—contributing to the maturation of the overall Malaysian venture space. In parallel to the fund investments, another RM250 million will be committed towards direct investments into promising early-stage companies. This commitment echoes KWAP’s intention to nurture start-ups through growth and expansion stages.
“We are dedicated to empowering start-ups and SMEs, supporting employment, and nurturing innovation. In realising these visions, KWAP has already identified several potential start-ups to invest in, which currently employ more than 1,000 Malaysians from different backgrounds,” Hazman added.
As KWAP implements this initiative, it stated that it remains conscious of its role and commitment to the pensioners who are its primary stakeholders, to spur the growth of the pension fund and enable KWAP to fulfil its role in line with its tagline: "Your retirement companion".
SC's chairman Awang Adek Hussin reportedly said that small and medium enterprises (SMEs), along with start-ups, are now playing a bigger role in driving activities which help boost the country’s GDP levels. One viable solution to finance these start-ups, according to him, is capital market financing, which allows SMEs to raise funds and eventually grow and contribute to the economy. He believes that the capital market could boost investor morale and attract more capital to push the growth of SMEs.
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