Malaysia's KWAP makes first investments worth $20m from Dana Perintis fund

Malaysia's KWAP makes first investments worth $20m from Dana Perintis fund

KWAP CIO Hazman Hilmi Sallahuddin during the launch of Dana Perintis at KWAP's headquarters on September 21, 2023 in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia—Photo courtesy KWAP

Malaysian retirement fund Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP) announced on Friday its first batch of investments, worth 100 million ringgit ($20.93 million), from its Dana Perintis vehicle.

In a statement, KWAP said the investments comprise direct investments in two Malaysian startups—Bateriku and Lapasar—and two venture capital (VC) fund commitments. 

“Bateriku is a rapidly growing automotive service provider with a network of partners nationwide, providing job opportunities and increasing financial inclusion. Lapasar is an online wholesale marketplace that focuses on meeting the needs of the FMCG industry, accelerating the adoption of digitalisation throughout the economy,” said KWAP.

Meanwhile, the two funds that received investments from KWAP are Vynn Capital, a home-grown fund that invests from in seed stage with a focus on the mobility and supply chain sectors, and Antler—a global early-stage VC investing in pre-seed to Series A and beyond.

Antler expanded its flagship residency programme to Malaysia in July last year, in partnership with Khazanah.

Launched in September 2023 with a targeted size of 500 million ringgit ($105 million), Dana Perintis is designed to accelerate the development of the Malaysian early-stage startup ecosystem while generating strong returns for beneficiaries.

“With the emergence of attractive opportunities within the Malaysian startup ecosystem, we are pleased to announce Dana Perintis’ inaugural investments,” said KWAP Chief Investment Officer Hazman Hilmi Sallahuddin. “We are confident in the prospects and potential of the investment in these four entities and look forward to working closely with them; adding value and lending KWAP’s support to ensure their success,” he added.

Dana Perintis has six focus areas—the digital economy, financial inclusion, food security, education, silver economy and climate change.

Bateriku.com started off as an on-demand car battery replacement service provider, evolving into an ecosystem that connects car users to roadside assistance, trusted workshops, auto parts marketplace and ancillary services. It then scaled up by leveraging big data, technology, and the sharing economy. To date, Bateriku.com operates more than 170 retail outlets nationwide and plans to expand its business regionally.

Lapasar is a wholesale marketplace platform that operates a corporate procurement service, as well as one for FMCG products for retailers.

Vynn Capital is an SEA-based early-stage investor that focuses on supporting early-stage startups and entrepreneurs in the Supply Chain and Mobility sector. It launched its second fund last year with a target size of $30 million.

Meanwhile, Antler has invested in more than 1,000 startups globally, across a wide range of industries and technologies, and has a goal of backing more than 6,000 startups by 2030. In Malaysia, Antler invested in its first seven local companies in January this year.

Edited by: Pramod Mathew

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