Malaysia’s early stage startup influencer Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd has launched an angel investment programme in partnership with the Malaysian Business Angel Network (MBAN) and in association with the London Business Angels (LBA).
MBAN targets to have about 10 deals completed by the end of this year, with four to five already in the pipeline. Over the next 12 months, the network also hopes to see its members commit MYR10 million in angel investments.
Under the programme, called Angels in the City, MBAN has exclusive licence and full support from LBA to run and operate the programme that resembles one that LBA currently has.
The collaboration with LBA entails Europe’s oldest and one of its most successful angel networks, which MBAN can tap into.
The objective of the Angels in the City programme is to increase the awareness amongst individuals in Malaysia – to become investors – as well as to bring their financial capacity and business experience to invest in innovative entrepreneurs with high growth potential, within the Malaysian startup ecosystem.
The target audience for the programme would mostly be high net worth individuals and high income earners, as well as professionals, expatriates and general investing public who are unfamiliar with the opportunities in angel investing.
President of MBAN, Dr V Sivapalan hopes to increase MBAN members via this scheme from the current approximate 100 to 150 members. The scheme, backed by the experience and knowledge LBA, aims to guide members in their angel investments so that they become active angel investors.
“The goal here is to roll out a revised angel funding system that is very much LBA’s brainchild but with a few localised tweaks. Indeed, we are not just delighted but also extremely excited with the opportunity that the LBA offered,” he said at the launch.
Since 2000, LBA has helped over 200 companies in successfully raising over approximately £50mil of funding. Over the last three years, nearly 40 per cent of the companies selected to pitch to LBA’s investors have secured funding.
On board the programme is LBA CEO Anthony Clarke, whose experience and knowledge in the angel investment scene will guide MBAN.
“From experience, we feel that angel syndication needs to be encouraged more in Malaysia to further boost the angel investment scene. The Angels in the City programme will do exactly that, as has been the case in UK,” Clarke said.
MBAN executive director Razif Aziz added that Angels in the City programme is looking to forge partnerships across the ecosystem involving incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces and funding entities that include government bodies, venture capitalists and crowd funding platforms.
Likewise, expert service providers from the law, accounting, tax and IP firms are also amongst those whom MBAN looks forward to collaborate with.
“Angels in the City acts as a focal point that brings together its angel investors and prepared early-stage businesses to interact socially. Simultaneously, angels get the opportunity to socialise, collaborate and co-invest, hence encouraging more syndicated angel investments and emergence of lead angels in the country,” Razif said.
The Angels in the City programme in Kuala Lumpur will include series of Investor Workshops, Entrepreneur Pitch Readiness Workshops and Pitch Sessions, which are scheduled to take place at specific intervals throughout the year.
MBAN intends to expand the programme to other parts of Malaysia as well, starting with established commercial hubs such as Penang and Johor Bharu targeting before the end of the first half of 2016 or earlier if the organisation finds suitable partners.
The programme is the latest among Cradle Fund’s initiatives to spur investments in Malaysian tech startups. Recently, the government-supported agency also launched its seed funding unit, Cradle Seed Ventures, and before that, announced a string of co-investment partnerships with venture capital firms around the region.