Singapore-based KK Fund is investing heavily in the Malaysian startup ecosystem and also the emerging markets like the Philippines and Indonesia, says a media report by Singapore-based web technology portal e27,
One of the investments that KK Fund has made is a $250,000 seed investment in Malaysia-based Be Malas and led the $500,000 seed round. Commenting on the deal, Koichi Saito, the general partner and founder of KK Fund, explained, “The reason is that ‘chatty commerce’ is becoming a trend.”
Essentially, Be Malas is a Malaysian clone of US-based Magic and Operator, which provide 24/7 SMS-based, on-demand delivery services. With these apps, users form an outbox of requests that are routed to human operators affiliated with the relevant product category, brand or store, providing purchase options and a delivery service that users can select.
Incidentally, this was KK funds first investment. Saito commented on the investment: “This is a clone business of a… proven business models [in the US]. They have a first-mover advantage in Southeast Asia, and actually after our investment a lot of competitors are coming up.”
KK Fund has also made a third investment in Malaysian online marketplace venture, thought this particular venture funding event has not been made public. According to Saito, the founder wishes to remain anonymous and quietly work towards a Series A round.
Saito expressed positive regard for Malaysian founders, noting that, in his experience, Malaysian founders were reliable, possessed a global outlook and were well-spoken. He also noted that their ventures often aimed to have a first-mover advantage and scale quickly after receiving capital infusions from VCs.
Future investments have been made into Indonesian and Filipino ventures. with one being a furniture marketplace and the other being a financial venture, with both deals already signed, according to the report.