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Malaysian property firm launches VC fund

Malaysian property firm launches VC fund

One of Malaysia’s largest real estate conglomerates, Sunway Berhad, is teaming up with the founders of a Singapore-based venture capital fund, KK Fund, to launch a new fund.

With a planned size of $50 million, the venture capital fund - Sun SEA Capital - will provide Series-A and early Series-B funding to technology start-ups across Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Taiwan, that can support Sunway’s existing business lines.

This includes online-to-offline convergence, enterprise solutions, logistics, digital media and entertainment, financial technology and digital health sectors.

Sunaway has signed an initial exempted limited partner agreement via its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sunway City, to establish the new fund with an initial investment of $5 million.

It is looking to invest up to $3 million per ticket size and conduct external fundraising to grow the start-ups.

Despite the political drama unfolding in the Southeast Asian nation, Sunway Berhad is confident that the new government will work in its favour.

'We are keen to work with the new government to build a robust entrepreneurship system,' ST Chua (pictured), principal of Sun SEA Capital told Citywire Asia.

'We believe that the new government supports the development of a strong digital economy to enhance our competitiveness.'

Sunway Berhad president Dato Chew Chee Kin said Sun SEA Capital is keen to widen its footprint in the region, especially in Japan and Taiwan.

The fund is the latest addition to the group’s digitalisation strategy. Over the past two years, the firm has launched its own incubator and accelerator as well as a corporate venture capital arm – Sunway Ventures – to provide early-stage funding.

The Malaysian group currently has 12 business lines across real estate, construction, retail, hospitality, leisure, healthcare, education, commercial, trading and manufacturing, building materials, quarrying and real estate investment trusts.

It reported RM 20,107,997,000 ($4.9 billion) in total assets at the end of the first quarter of 2018.

Sunway has enlisted venture fund KK Fund founders, Koichi Saito and Kuan Hsu, to act as directors of the fund. The venture capitalists will also join the fund’s investment committee.

Saito was formerly with IMJ Investment, a Japanese start-up-focused venture capital fund that was rebranded to Spiral Ventures last year, while Hsu previously led the Southeast Asian operations for GREE Ventures, which invests in early-stage internet and mobile firms in Asia.

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