Startups could always use government Startup grants or in fact any kind of grants! Who doesn't want free funding/money? Here is a list of grants in Malaysia, specifically for startups. If you would like to add more information, just comment below!
I hope you find a suitable Startup grant to help you achieve your goals. Do note that most Startup grants have conditions attached, they are there to help Startups spend this free money wisely. It is also to prevent startups from abusing grants. These grants are provided by the government to help local businessmen flourish so that the country's economy as a whole grows faster. If you are interested
For grants that are reimbursement based, be aware that you will need the cash to spend first to be able to claim it back later. This means that you may need a few months of cash flow to sustain the business in the meantime.
While the grants may promise RM500,000 for example, you may have multiple stages of claiming it, and for each stage, if you do not fulfil the criteria agreed upon, you may not be able to claim the fill amounts.
So while the business grants may sound great, it is good to be aware that the grants in Malaysia are typically on a reimbursement basis, and it is good to plan for it. This is so that you can maximise the startup grants for your business, and for it to have the optimum effect for your business.
NEXEA does not provide any business grants in Malaysia, however, the following grant providers do:
Cradle aims to become the go-to source of early stage funding for aspirational and innovative entrepreneurs, while being recognized for the high quality of its services and products. Cradle goals include establishing a supportive ecosystem for technology entrepreneurs, promoting sustainable entrepreneurship, and serving as a representative of the government's efforts to increase the quantity and quality of innovations and technology companies.
More details at http://www.cradle.com.my/
Unfortunately, they have closed their startup grants program.
Update 23/6/2020: Cradle has a new grant!
This Cradle grant is a programme that provides up to RM 2,000,000. The programme caters specifically to deep tech startups. The programme helps startups with proven systems to commercialise there product.
Unfortunately, as of 1/10/2021 they have closed their startup grants program.
The CIP IGNITE programme gives out a conditional grant and assistance up to RM 500,000 for tech-based startups, local SME's or spinoff companies from university research.
For more information:
For further enquiries, email us at [email protected] OR call us at 03 – 4045 8600
Unfortunately, as of 1/10/2021 they have closed their startup grants program.
Update: Cradle has a new grant!
The CIP SPARK grants is program that provides funding and support to early-stage technology startups in Malaysia. It offers a grant of up to MYR 150,000 for a maximum of 18 months to help these startups develop and commercialize their products. In addition to the funding, CIP SPARK grant recipients will also have access to business networking opportunities and other value-add services to help them develop their business model, validate their market, and gain market access. This grant is intended to help early-stage entrepreneurs in Malaysia develop and grow their businesses.
Visit https://www.cradle.com.my/products/cip-spark/ for more information
The CIP SPRINT grant is a program that provides funding and support to entrepreneurs in Malaysia who are seeking to commercialize technology-based businesses. It offers a grant of up to MYR 600,000 for a maximum of 18 months to help these businesses bring their products or services to market. In addition to the funding, CIP SPRINT grant recipients will also have access to business networking opportunities and other value-add services to help them develop their business model, validate their market, and gain market access. This grant is intended to help SMEs in Malaysia fund and grow their technology-based ventures.
Visit https://www.cradle.com.my/products/cip-sprint/ for more information
MTDC's vision is to be Malaysia's leading provider of commercialization solutions for technology companies, building these companies through strategic partnerships. Their mission is to create, nurture, and promote technology companies in strategic areas, with a focus on employee capacity building and maximizing stakeholder returns.
The MTDC CRDF grant provides financial assistance to eligible Malaysian startups to undertake full commercialisation activities of completed R&D.
The CRDF 1 is a partial grant to conduct technology and market validation activities for R&D outputs by any local R&D outputs to be undertaken by local companies. CRDF 1 is a partial grant with a maximum of RM500,000 or 70% of the eligible expenses (whichever is lower). It has a payback rate of 0% of the funding amount.
The CRDF 2 is a partial grant for the commercialisation of any local R&D outputs by small and medium-sized companies (SMEs). CRDF 2 is a partial grant with a maximum of RM4,000,000 or 70% of the eligible expenses (whichever is lower) and has a payback rate of 3.5% interest on CPN portion.
The CRDF 3 is a partial grant for the commercialisation of any local R&D outputs from public universities/research institutions or local companies by non-SME / subsidiaries of large corporation and public-listed companies. CRDF 3 is a partial grant with a maximum of RM4,000,000 or 50% of the eligible expenses (whichever is lower) and has a payback rate of 3.5% interest on CPN portion.
See more on the MTDC CRDF Grant here.
Unfortunately, they have closed their grants program.
The Business Start-up Fund (BSF) is a financial program designed to support early stage technology-based companies by providing them with flexible funding through the use of Convertible Promissory Notes (CPN) and/or Preference Shares. The goal of the BSF is to remove financial barriers that may prevent these companies from achieving their business goals and competing effectively in high-growth sectors of the economy. By offering a combination of loan and equity financing, the BSF aims to provide companies with the resources they need to scale and grow their businesses.
Visit https://www.mtdc.com.my/strategic-investments/bsf/ for more information
PlatCom's website is vague, but, they do provide a matching grant last I checked. It is up to RM1m, and it is on a matching grant basis. To get the grant, you first need outside investors to fund 40% of your fundraising, and PlatCom will chip in the remaining 60%. Note that this fund is not for everyone, as it is limited to certain industries (it includes ICT if you're a tech startup).
RM1,000,000 Matching Grant
Looking for someone to match this grant with? Let us know! We are an angel investor group looking for great Startups to fund.
Visit PlatCom for more information on their startup grants for more information
The Bumiputera Agenda Leadership Unit (TERAJU) is an organization in Malaysia that is responsible for coordinating and leading efforts to increase Bumiputera economic dominance. TERAJU's role has been expanded to include the coordination of the Bumiputera Socioeconomic Agenda, with a focus on strategic intervention and initiatives in priority areas outlined in the Bumiputera Development Action 2030. This includes encouraging Bumiputera participation in high-impact industries and creating a sustainable development ecosystem with fair and inclusive economic distribution. In addition to economic issues, TERAJU is also responsible for addressing issues related to the well-being and sustainability of life, such as education, health, social security, and sustainability, in order to create a comfortable and dynamic environment and improve the dignity of Bumiputera.
The SUPERB program is open to Bumiputera individuals or entrepreneurs who are running start-up companies that have been in operation for less than 3 years and have innovative and creative ideas or products with the potential to be successful.
The SUPERB program is open to Malaysian citizens of Bumiputera status between the ages of 21 and 40 who are not bankrupt. Applications can be submitted individually or through a company that has been established for no more than three years at the time of application. The program has two project phases: the Idea/Prototype phase, where business grants of up to MYR 100,000 , and the Pre Commercial/ Commercial phase, where business grants of up to MYR 500,000.
Visit https://superb.teraju.gov.my/ for more information.
MDEC (Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation) is a government agency in Malaysia that is focused on promoting the growth of the country's digital economy. The agency was established in 1996 as the lead agency to implement the MSC Malaysia initiative, which is a government program designed to boost the development of Malaysia's information and communication technology (ICT) and digital economy. The agency operates under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Malaysia (KKD) and has a long track record of supporting the growth of the ICT and digital economy in the country. MDEC's mission is to drive the growth of the digital economy in Malaysia through a variety of initiatives, investments, and policies. Its vision is for Malaysia to become a hub for world-class digital businesses and talent.
Based on the 2020 budget, the MDEC has set up favourable provisions for digital adoption as the government is actively encouraging more local businesses to move rapidly into the technology sphere.
The Government will provide a 50% matching grant of up to RM5,000 per company for the subscription of the above services. This matching grant will be worth RM500 million over 5 years, limited to the first 100,000 SMEs applying to upgrade their systems.
Visit https://mdec.my/digital-grants/sme-digital-grant for more information
The Malaysia Digital Economy Malaysia (MDEC) has announced the Global Technology Grant (GTG), an initiative aimed at nurturing global champions, driving investments, and catalysing a digital innovation ecosystem.
In a statement, it said the objective of GTG is to support the scaling-up of Malaysian technology companies into the global arena by way of empowering innovation, development, and commercialisation of disruptive or innovative products and services.
The grant works by supporting research and development (R&D), scaling up of provision of R&D services, development of new technologies, the establishment of centres of excellence, and the creation of new market-driven products or services for the global market, it said.
“In order to compete in an increasingly globalised market, technology companies in Malaysia need innovation, ideas and globally relevant products. One way to do so is to create an ecosystem that supports R&D and innovation,” said Gopi Ganesalingam, vice president, tech ecosystems and globalisation at MDEC.
“The GTG aims to nurture global champions out of local innovators by allowing them to develop and commercialise innovative and commercially driven products or services.”
The GTG is open to local and foreign-owned companies. For local companies to be eligible, it must be incorporated in Malaysia under the Companies Act 1965 of the Companies Act 2016 and in operation for at least one year.
It must have a minimum issued and paid-up capital of RM20,000 (US$4,800) and a minimum of 51% equity held by Malaysians. For companies whose shareholders are from another company, the same rule applies.
For foreign-owned companies to be eligible, they must be incorporated in Malaysia under either companies acts, with a minimum issued and paid-up capital of RM500,000 (US$120,000). They must also be in operation for at least one year.
The GTG is open for submission on Aug 27, and the closing date for submissions is on Sept 15, with evaluation and approvals set to be completed by October.
For more information on the GTG and the application process, click here.
A critical part of Pelan Jana Semula Ekonomi Negara (PENJANA), the #SMART Automation Grant (SAG) is a matching grant for services companies to allow them to automate their business processes and move towards digitalisation.
Each successful application will receive up to 50% of the total project cost, subject to a ceiling limit up to RM200,000 or, whichever is the lowest, through this matching grant.
The purpose of SAG is a specific matching grant for services companies that will help them automate their business processes and move towards digitalisation. The grant will be used solely for the purpose of kickstarting the development and implementation of projects that push the adoption of technologies to automate business operations.
The expected outcomes of this SAG grants are as follows: This matching grant is intended to assist services companies embarking on automation to achieve one of these outcomes:
For more details about this grant, please visit MDEC Smart Automation Grant (SAG).
The registration has closed.
NanoMalaysia is Malaysia's primary agency for nanotechnology commercialization and industrial development. The mission of NanoMalaysia is to be a global leader in the commercialization of nanotechnology. NanoMalaysia assists industries adopt nanotechnology, provide sustainable business development, and promote technical leadership while creating value.
In October 2009, the National Innovation Council identified nanotechnology as one of the key drivers of the new economic model (NEM). During a meeting on February 14th, 2011, the Council decided that a nanotechnology commercialization agency was needed and that its activities should align with those of Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM). As a result, NanoMalaysia Berhad was established in 2011 as a company limited by guarantee (CLBG) under the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOSTI) to handle the commercialization of nanotechnology.
Some of its responsibilities include:
More details at https://nanomalaysia.com.my/
iNanovation is a program that helps companies increase their market share and adopt nanotechnology by introducing new processes or materials. The program targets industries, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and startup companies through the iNanovation platform, which includes:
This program aims to:
This program aims to:
This program aims to:
Visit https://nanomalaysia.com.my/inanovation-2/ for more information.
MATRADE's goal is to support and promote Malaysia's exports, which has allowed many local companies to succeed in global markets. MATRADE is committed to helping these companies showcase their capabilities and build a reputation for excellence, reliability, and trustworthiness. The phrase "Made-In-Malaysia" is intended to be synonymous with these qualities.
The goals of the SRF Fund are to improve the competitiveness of Malaysian Service Providers (MSPs) in the global market, increase their accessibility and export, expand opportunities for services export promotion, and enhance the reputation of Malaysia as a competent service provider. The fund aims to increase the visibility of the "brand Malaysia" as a supplier of services on the international stage.
The conditions for Malaysian Service Providers (MSPs) to be eligible for the SEF:
Visit https://www.matrade.gov.my/en/export-to-the-world/trade-facilitation-page/services-export-fund for more information
Malaysia Debt Ventures Berhad (MDV) was founded by the government of Malaysia in 2002 with the goal of providing financing to support the growth of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, which has been identified as a key driver of economic growth by the government. MDV's vision is to be the nation's technology financier, and its mission is to support the government's technology agenda and increase the success of Malaysian technology companies through access to financing, innovative and flexible financing solutions, specialized funding programs, and industry expertise and advisory services. MDV aims to remain financially sustainable while fulfilling its developmental role.
MDV recognizes that start-ups may face challenges in securing funding to support the sustainability of their business operations. The MDV LIFTS program aims to provide short-term, affordable financing to venture capital-backed or government agency-supported technology start-ups to help meet their working capital and business development needs through a cash line facility.
The facility is a cash line with semi-annual roll-over, and the financing rate is up to 3.50% per year. The financing period is up to three years and is subject to annual review. The financing limit is up to RM 2.5 million. The financing may require a personal guarantee and debenture as security, and the warrant cover is up to 10% of the financing limit at the equity price from the last funding round. There are no additional fees or costs and legal fees may be drawn down from the facility.
Visit https://mdv.com.my/lifts/ for more information
The fund aims to support innovative and technological projects at an early stage of development, particularly those that have the potential to be commercialized. The fund may use the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) scale, developed by NASA, to evaluate the maturity of a project. Projects that are at TRL 2 or TRL 3 and show potential for further expansion beyond their current state may be eligible for support from the fund.
The eligibility criteria for an application to the AIF fund are as follows:
Applications that do not meet these criteria will not be eligible, including those from research institutes, public or private institutions of higher education, and science, technology, and innovation organizations. Also, applications for projects that are similar to previously approved projects will not be considered. Finally, projects that fall under the jurisdiction of a ministry, department, or agency will not be eligible.
The objective is to support the development of Science, Technology, Innovation and Economy (STIE) encompasses a range of activities including research, the introduction of new technologies and processes, the creation of innovative or value-added products, and the enhancement of existing high-impact technologies or products that address societal, economic, and national concerns, as outlined in the DSTIN.
The eligibility for Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Companies and Start-up Companies in Malaysia to apply for the SRF Fund are:
The goal is to improve the development of existing concepts related to design technologies, processes, or products that have the potential to be commercialized. To achieve this goal, a network of cooperation will be established between various government research institutes, STI agencies, higher education institutions, polytechnics, community colleges, and industries in order to stimulate research and technology development.
The eligibility criteria for start-up companies:
It also appears that applications from certain institutions and agencies, such as higher education institutions, community colleges, and STI agencies, are encouraged to collaborate with start-up companies or small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Collaboration between start-up companies and SMEs with these institutions is also encouraged.
In addition, all categories of companies must have a minimum of 51% equity held by Malaysians, and the directors or project team members of the company must not have been convicted of fraudulent activities or have had the company declared bankrupt, in dissolution, or under receivership. Project leaders must be Malaysian citizens, but may involve international or expatriate members from the same institution. Project team members should be qualified and efficient in technical aspects, and if they are from a different institution, a letter of permission from their head of department must be submitted.
Finally, applicants are allowed to submit multiple applications for different projects as long as they have the necessary human and financial resources
The goal is to improve the process of bringing technology, products, or processes from the conceptual phase to commercialization in order to reduce the failure rate during this transition, which is often referred to as the "valley of death." To achieve this goal, a network of cooperation between various government organizations, educational institutions, and industries will be established in order to stimulate research and technology development.
The qualification criteria for applying to this program include being a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) or startup company registered in Malaysia, having a technology-based business, and meeting certain requirements for ownership, paid-up capital, and number of directors. Startups must also have been in operation for less than 5 years. SME companies with non-majority Malaysian ownership must also have a proof of concept or working prototype and have at least 70% Malaysian employees. Funding for SME companies is offered on a grant basis and may be partially matched by in-kind contributions or cash from the company. Applications from public and private institutions of higher learning (IPT) must collaborate with startups or SMEs and may also collaborate with other research institutions or STI agencies. Polytechnics, community colleges, and government research institutions/agencies are encouraged to collaborate with startups or SMEs. All applicants must be registered in Malaysia and must not have been convicted of fraudulent activity or declared bankrupt. Project leaders must be Malaysian citizens or have valid work permits, and must not be leading more than one approved project at a time. Project team members must be qualified and competent and must provide resumes outlining their research experience and achievements. If any team members are from a different institution, a letter of acceptance from that institution must be provided. Finally, all projects must be technically feasible and must have the potential for commercialization.
Visit https://sdb.mosti.gov.my/sdbcms/en/garispanduan/ for more information
There are six main sources of startup funding in Malaysia: government funding, crowdfunding, angel investors, venture capitals, self-financing and bank loans.
The most important thing that a CEO or founder has to do to optimise their funding strategy is to value their startup correctly. Contrary to popular belief, startup valuations cannot be modelled positive linearly with time.
Instead, startup valuations are usually done based on risks and returns. The valuation generally increases in chunks rather than linearly, depending on the milestones that the business has reached or is going to reach. Therefore, successfully valuing a startup is integral for optimising a startup’s funding strategy.
Unfortunately, most if not all Malaysian startup grants are exclusive to Malaysian residents. However, if a Malaysian is the majority owner of the foreign startup, they can apply to the Malaysian startup grants.
Although not all startup grants have the same application method, you would usually have to go through the individual government organisations that provide those grants you are looking for. The startup CEO/Founder would have to give them a call before visiting them to ask for requirements. These requirements usually involve filling in the required forms and sending in the requested documents.
Naturally, VC firms usually fund startups in Malaysia more than government grants. However, it is important to note that government funding is not restricted to grants and can entail anything from loans to investments. Therefore, approaching either government or private VC firms is usually dependent on what the needs of the startups themselves.
Malaysian Startup Funds are available from NEXEA and other key players in the Malaysian Startup ecosystem. Below is a table with details of those funds.