Post Uber, Malaysian fund KWAP bullish on tech but gives a pass to Airbnb

An uber driver using the app

Emerging as a contender for investment opportunities in the technology space with its recent $30 million injection into ride-hailing app Uber, Malaysian pension fund Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) or KWAP is eyeing more such options for investment.

However, the pension fund recently, stopped short of investing in homestay aggregator Airbnb citing a tight funding requirement and timeline.

“Honestly, we did look at Airbnb, unfortunately their funding requirement is so tight and we’re not able to meet their timeline expectation, so at this moment we’re not considering,” KWAP CEO Datuk Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmad said today on the sidelines of the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2016.

He also noted that KWAP does not discount any possibility provided that it meets the fund’s investment criteria.

“One of the criteria is it must be cash flow positive with a clear exit strategy. We’re not venture capital, we’ve to fit in our profile of what we can do,” he said.

Kwap recently invested $30 million in Uber Technologies in a G series fundraising round that started last year.

The investment has brought KWAP in light for putting in money in a non-traditional asset. The fund manages $29.7 billion assets and is currently reviewing its portfolio to take on riskier investments, including doubling its allocation in private equity.

About 90 per cent of its investments are in traditional assets such as fixed income and equity while 10 per cent are in alternative investment like private equity.

The pension fund may have taken a cue from Malaysia’s government investment arm Khazanah which was also reported to have an indirect investment in Uber via a private equity fund. It is also understood that Khazanah had investments in other startups in the region.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.