Cradle Fund, an agency under Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance, has launched a pre-seed program named Cradle Investment Programme (CIP 300). With the program, the agency intends to assist early-stage entrepreneurs to develop and commercialise their products. It aims to address the funding gap that early stage businesses witness at the stages of ideation and prototyping, and also during early commercialisation of products.
The investment product will be seen providing financial and value-added assistance up to RM300,000 for entrepreneurs to kick-start innovative technology based business ventures. Cradle Fund counts a range of value added support as its key feature. In a official statement it writes, that these services are designed to help nurture, develop and prepare them for the challenges of building a tech start-up from the ground up.
Cradle Fund had also revamped their conditional grant products, CIP Catalyst, and CIP500, a seed type funding for commercialisation purposes in December 2016, in order to better suit to Malaysia’s emerging startup ecosystem. It had also launched Direct Equity 800 (DEQ800), an equity product in February 2017. The product offered capital infusion between RM300,000 to RM800,000 to help the early-stage startups scale up.
The government aims to wean entrepreneurs off grants, the lower amount offered in CIP300 is to encourage startups to plan and opt for other options of funding. With this, Cradle wants to introduce outside investors earlier making sure that local startups have the discipline, professionalism and focus required to push them to the next level. Nazrin Hassan, Group CEO of Cradle, says,
We now offer two products, DEQ800 and CIP300 which brings together a range of funding and value added benefits to create a more coherent framework to allow start-ups to grow and do business locally and regionally. This gives our local start-ups the opportunity in starting and scaling up a company with the help from the Government and private sector. This is about new jobs, innovation and competitiveness for Malaysia.
The agency also stated that it had signed an MOU with The Malaysian Business Angel Network (MBAN) and K-One Technology Bhd (KiasuLab), and another one with Sunway University Sdn Bhd (Sunway Innovation Lab). It says, these associations will witness the government and Private sectors join forces to explore funding, investment and other mutually beneficial opportunities.
Cradle Fund’s new strategic direction aims to provide innovative entrepreneurs in Malaysia with opportunities to become world leading companies.