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KWAP, the Kumpulan Wang Persaraan, is Malaysia’s public service retirement fund, and it’s recently launched a sizable 500-million-ringgit ($106.68M) vehicle aimed squarely at spurring innovation and growth in startups and venture capital funds. This initiative, Dana Perintis, will span the next 18-24 months, and promises major impact.

  • Fund Distribution: Half of the fund (RM250 million) will be injected directly into startups and the remaining half will be funneled into venture capital funds. KWAP has received 38 proposals and will carefully select 10 VCs to receive funding.
  • Two-Pronged Mission: Dana Perintis is not solely about philanthropy. The fund aims to bolster the Malaysian early-stage ecosystem and also generate sustainable returns for KWAP and its stakeholders.
  • Vision: KWAP’s Chief Investment Officer, Hazman Hilmi Sallahuddin, is optimistic about the future of the Malaysian venture capital and startup ecosystem. He believes Dana Perintis will ignite this potential. The initiative gels perfectly with the Ekonomi Madani framework, a government policy roadmap to spur economic growth.
  • Inclusivity: Dana Perintis is open to both local and globally oriented VC funds. They seek VCs with a concrete overview, a track record of success, robust fundraising capabilities, and a solid market access network.
  • Flexibility: The fund offers flexible ticket sizes for direct investments in the Series B stage and beyond, focusing on sectors such as the silver economy, food security, education, financial inclusion, and the digital economy.

Dana Perintis aims to not only help Malaysian companies achieve global recognition, but also attract global players to Malaysia. Startups and VC funds should stay tuned for an announcement from Dana Perintis in Q4.

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