Malaysia: Cradle Seed Ventures’ Dzuleira joins MaGIC as CEO

Dzuleira Abu Bakar at DEALSTREETASIA's Asia PE-VC Summit 2017 in Singapore. Photo: DEALSTREETASIA

Dzuleira Abu Bakar, the former CEO of Cradle Seed Ventures (CSV), the venture capital arm of Malaysia’s government-linked investment fund Cradle Fund, has joined Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) as its CEO, starting today, DEALSTREETASIA has learnt.

Dzuleira succeeds former MaGIC CEO Ashran Ghazi, who tendered his resignation last November after leading the agency for two and a half years since April 2016. The development was first reported by Digital News Asia.

We learnt that Dzuleira has tendered her resignation a few months ago but has been awaiting confirmation from various ministries. MaGIC was previously under the purview of Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance with an annual budget of RM50 million. It is now under the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development (MED), who has confirmed the appointment via a statement this evening.

Prior to CSV which she joined as CEO in August 2016, Dzuleira was the vice president of investment at state-linked VC fund – the Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd (MAVCAP). At MAVCAP, she was responsible for identifying and investing in high growth tech companies, setting up VC funds as well as managing strategic partnerships, corporate/government and other stakeholder relations.

Dzuleira also served stints at Usaha Tegas Management, where she oversaw the company’s fund of funds and private equity business; Maybank Investment Bank; and Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s Hasanah Foundation.

In the same statement, MED also announced a new board of MaGIC, which comprises the ministry’s deputy secretary general for policy and entrepreneur strategy Anis Mahmud, Astro Malaysia’s CEO and board of director for GoShop Grace Lee Hew Ling, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) chief strategy officer Azli Mohamed, Eastern Distinction Sdn Bhd executive director Datuk Abdul Malik Baba, PIKOM chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah, Melewar Bhd consultant Tariq Ismail Mustafa, and EPIC Collective founder and chief epic officer John-Son Oei. The appointment is subject to final approval from the authorities.

According to a Cradle Fund spokesperson, its current chief investment officer Juliana Jan will be the acting CEO for CSV. She joined the fund in 2014 and is responsible for managing Cradle Fund’s Direct Equity 800 (DEQ800) and co-investment initiative.

We had reported that CSV was looking to launch its second fund CSV II at close to $20 million. Cradle Fund had declined to comment on the fundraising status of the vehicle.

The VC firm has recently invested in several Malaysia-based startups including fintech startup MoneyMatch, logistics startup TheLorry and interior design marketplace Atap.co.

Established in 2014, MaGIC was rumoured to be disbanded after Malaysia’s general elections last May as the government was looking to streamline its budget operations. It has drawn about RM197 million altogether from the government in the past four years. Post election, MaGIC’s chairman and former treasury secretary-general Irwan Serigar has been transferred out of all his ministerial duties.

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