Decago aims to raise US$20m to fund startups in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Decago Sdn Bhd aims to raise US$20 million (RM93.8 million) by April 2024 via its BEYOND4 FUND1, managed by its wholly owned subsidiary True Vine Capital Partners Pte Ltd, that offers investors an opportunity to take up equity in selected startups which have graduated from BEYOND4’s Accelerator Programme.

CEO ST Rubaneswaran said the holding company that manages the fund based in Singapore is looking to fund up to 30 startups in Malaysia once it is ready next year.

“Once the fund is raised, then we will provide them shared services for the period of 36 months and within the period we will make sure they reach a profitable level in their businesses,” he told Bernama recently.

He said that most founders and startups with products or services in Malaysia are seen to be either not ready to market their products or not equipped with the relevant infrastructures to sell the product.

“We want to help them to focus on the product portion and make the services better as many are lacking entrepreneurship skills, ways to structure their business, roadmap, budgeting, business marketing and operations,” he added.

In order to be eligible for the fund, Rubaneswaran said, businesses have to go through and be validated by either an accelerator and ecosystem or product-focused programme.

“We also do financial planning for them and then we get them into the funding process. The fund is through our equity crowdfunding partners, who raise money for startups,” he said, adding that the partnership for the fund based in Singapore was started in June 2023.

He also said most of the startups in Malaysia were struggling to find good companies to invest and Decago plays a role in identifying suitable startups to join the programme and match them with the fund available.

“Furthermore, many startups could only survive after raising their first return in their business and fail to sustain thereafter and BEYOND4 hoped to reduce the failure rate so that there will be more jobs could be created and provide better income to the country,” he said.

He said the company is looking into investing a minimum of US$500,000 and a maximum of US$1 million for startups in various fields.

Decago has raised RM3.2 million for BEYOND4 FUND1 since its launch in June.