KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 16): The National Technology and Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) has added kipleX and Ficus Venture Capital to its stable of funding partners.
kipleX is an early-stage venture capital fund and start-up studio based in Kuala Lumpur and invests in early-stage tech start-ups in Southeast Asia, while Ficus is the world's first syariah-compliant venture capital.
In a statement, the NTIS, an initiative that allows researchers, innovators, start-ups and high-tech entrepreneurs to test their products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms in a live environment, said with the two new funders, the amount and funding options for the NTIS are expanded, while giving the government’s initial allocation of RM100 million for the initiative a boost.
Through the NTIS, Ficus will be funding between RM500,000 and RM2 million per deal.
Meanwhile, kipleX earlier announced that it would set from RM500,000 up to a maximum of RM2 million per investment in early-stage start-up companies between 2020 and 2023.
This investment fund is now extended to tech-focused NTIS participants.
Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) acting chief executive officer (CEO) Amiruddin Abdul Shukor said the collaborations expand the innovation to commercialisation funnel, allowing more early-stage technology companies to participate in the sandbox.
“Currently, projects funded are those which are at the technology readiness level's (TRL) stage 6 or above.
“Now, with more investment and funding options available, we can support more companies trying to mature their product innovation,” he said.
MaGIC serves as the lead secretariat for the NTIS.
Since its launch, the NTIS has received over 500 complete applications, with more than 150 already receiving funding, technical and marketing support.
Amiruddin said of the ongoing implementation, 72 Malaysian companies had been approved for funding.
“The addition of private venture capital funding in the NTIS allows foreign companies to now participate in the programme,” he said.