The tech ecosystem in Malaysia has grown significantly over the last few years. Many startups in AI and data science have sprung up in the tech community in South Asia, mainstreaming emerging technologies. While a number of these deep tech startups have been thriving, there are entrepreneurs who believe that startups in Malaysia aren’t able to shine because local VCs are too risk-averse.
Despite the risk-averse approach, AI/ML startup community is flourishing and here we list five VCs who have invested in AI startups in the country.
RHL Ventures: It is a Malaysia-based venture capital firm that is heavily investing in areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and IoT. It is helping AI companies and others in autonomous driving space to raise significant capital to carry breath-taking innovations in the field. They strongly believe that developments in AI-powered chips, architecture and software is most likely to continue booming in 2019, and are striving to support these areas. It has invested in startups such as HealthMetrics, a Malaysia-based cloud-based human resource system that allows companies to manage their employees’ medical benefits.
Cradle Fund: Cradle Seed Ventures (CSV) is the venture capital arm of Malaysia’s premier early stage financier and influencer, Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd. Managing early stage venture fund based out of Malaysia, they are always in a lookout for startups, especially in the emerging tech space, portraying high growth potential led by passionate founders. It is supporting startups such as Go-Mad.AI, which is an on-demand nutritionist startup based in Malaysia. The AI-based meal-tracking app is in talks with the Cradle Fund along with multiple angel investors to raise US$100,000 in funding.
NEXEA Venture Capital: This Malaysia-based VC firm offers not only funding amount for tech startups but also help them through valuable mentoring, good networking and consulting services for new business. They typically invest in startups supporting them from the early idea stage to pre-Series A stage. It has invested more than RM 1.7 million into tech startups such as RunningMan, an on-demand food-delivery service, Smartly and others. They have invested in more than 35 startups so far with a funding range of 50K-1M.
TH Capital: This Malaysia-based VC firm is empowering entrepreneurs with funds, networking and growth opportunities in South East Asian countries including Malaysia. With a focus on technology and innovation, they are investing in high growth tech startups in the space of artificial intelligence, cloud, IoT, mobile gaming and more.
SunSEA Capital: This venture fund aims at investing in digital startups across Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Hong Kong. The firm is looking to invest in newer innovations and in startups that are working around technologies such as IoT, artificial intelligence and blockchain. They believe that artificial intelligence is an important area and with the rise of chatbots in the service industry along with robotic process automation and other development, Malaysia is setting a stronger foot. Comparatively new in the space, it is targetting to fund startups this year.