SME Corp Venturing into “VC”

By: Jotham Lim

On the 9th July 2019, SME Corp Malaysia has launched the SME investment Partner (SIP) Programme, in collaboration with Warisan Quantum Management Sdn Bhd and RHL Ventures Sdn Bhd.

This private-public partnership programme aims to improve access to capital for SMEs, particularly for those at an early stage where they have no access to traditional financing options.

The SIP programme is part of the High Impact Programmes under the SME Masterplan (2012-2020) pushed forward by the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development.

“If the B40 group is a large majority of our population, that is what we need to focus on, to bring them up and narrow the gap,” said Minister of Entrepreneur Development Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Yusof.

The minister officiated the launch as a show of commitment from the government in providing alternative financing solutions for Malaysian SMEs.

“Just look at our local innovations. Look at our local inventions. Have confidence in yourselves, and find investment opportunities, and monetise your products and services,” he added.

The programme offers both equity and debt financing, mainly targeting early-stage SMEs operating between one to three years, covering SMEs in all sectors that have strong high growth potential, innovativeness as well as in newly emerging areas.

“The ministry has the necessary funds needed to provide for SMEs, but with the expertise of our VC partners, we are able to better measure a company’s competency,” said Redzuan.

A total of RM90 million has been raised and are now ready for investment, with initial seed funds from SME Corp Malaysia going up to RM40 million, and both Warisan Quantum Management and RHL Ventures raising a total of RM50 million to match.

“We need to move quickly, to provide these necessary space(ecosystem) and regulations for these SMEs to grow,” he added.