Monday, 10 June 2013

Presentation about Malaysian start-up ecosystem

Presentation by Khailee Ng of the ecosystem for Malaysian startup tech companies, which is indeed picking up and looking quite hopeful.

Malaysia does indeed have a few good success stories, the biggest one by far being JobStreet which has a valuation close to RM 1 Billion. People who invested in the company when it was listed will have done very well.

Malaysia also has lots of talent, the trick is to keep it in the country, and not to export it to other countries, which is what has happened so often in the past.

There are not that many angel investors compared to Singapore, but compared to other regional countries (Thailand, Philippines, etc.) it is quite ok. Recently tax brakes have been introduced for angel investors which might encourage more to follow suit. Also, a few good deals have been done, which might spark more interest.

The Securities Commission has recently revealed a framework for a platform for unlisted securities:

"to address the need of an unlisted securities platform to supply long-term risk capital and expand the financing base for innovation and local enterprises."

This might spur interest even more in start-up companies, but I am not completely convinced the platform will work in practice. A similar platform in Singapore (OTC, Over The Counter) never really took off, shares were hardly traded. With hundreds of Malaysian listed companies having low daily volume, I am scared that things might go the same way. The platform might be more useful for trading of shares of delisted companies, giving minority shareholders a venue to trade their stocks.

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