Creating a better investing environment for Malaysia

By Karamjit Singh | Jun 14, 2018
  • Wants to build MVCA into  a regional platform while deepening roots in Malaysia
  • Aims attract more private sector professionals and the money they represent

“I AM getting the easier job as this is the best time to help create a better investing environment for Malaysia,” says Victor Chua (pic), newly elected president of the Malaysian Venture Capital Association or MVCA.

For that he thanks the past leaders of MVCA who all did “fantastic jobs” to lay the foundation for the 31-year old to now inject the vigour and ideas of youth to take the Malaysian venture community to a higher level.

With optimism about the future and confidence in the new direction Malaysians have chosen through the recent general elections, Chua is looking to build MVCA into becoming a regional platform for members while deepening its roots in Malaysia especially through getting more private sector membership into the MVCA.

At present, between 60% to 70% of MVCA’s membership are tied to government-funded VCs and sovereign wealth funds with 30% from corporates. Chua is determined to change this ratio and attract more private sector professionals and the money they represent, into MVCA.

“We want to attract more members from corporates and family offices to join MVCA.” But it’s not just restricted to Malaysian-based members as he wants to drive membership from foreign-based investment professionals as well.

“By being a MVCA member, you get to get closer to the local investing community and at the same time find out more about the local ecosystem and how the public sector works with the private sector,” explains Chua when asked what value non-Malaysia based members could get from MVCA.

Already working on a few initiatives, MVCA will also have some dialogues with industry players to get their views, to better act as the voice of members.

With an eye to building and enhancing the skill set of the next generation of investment professionals, something the Securities Commission of Malaysia and government are supporting, capacity building will be a key initiative for MVCA during Chua’s two-year term, which started last month. “I feel like a minority as there are not that many VC professionals around versus the private equity crowd,” he quips.

That shouldn’t be the case, he feels as “Malaysia has a fantastic environment with promising startups, some of which can scale regionally”. He reels off examples such as e-commerce startup, Hermo which Chua invested in while he was with Gobi Ventures of China; Carsome an online to offline automotive platform with a presence in four countries, which he also invested in while at Gobi and restaurant booking platform, OffPeak, which is also in four countries.

Now running his own fund, Vynn Capital, Chua feels that he is walking the talk through the investment choices he is making. “When I talk about Malaysian investors being regional minded while having strong roots in Malaysia, I feel my investments via Vynn Capital bear this out.”

While his first investment was made in Indonesia, Chua also participated in the March Series B round into Carsome and is currently assessing investments into Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Chua is already looking forward to an anchor event of MVCA’s, the Southeast Asia Venture Capital & Private Equity Conference 2018 (SEAVCPE 2018) to be held on July 31, 2018.

Targeting a 50% headcount increase in participation this year, Chua is bringing in a mix of foreign and local speakers. “We want them to talk about their markets as the focus of the conference is on localisation. The idea is to connect Malaysia to their markets.” The timing is right as Malaysian investors who in the past may have been too focused on the home market are now starting to invest outwards as well, he notes with his own fund but the most recent example.

Among the regional speakers confirmed are Lim Kuo-Yi, managing partner, Monk’s Hill Ventures; Kaspar Hidayat, investment manager, Venturra Capital; Koichi Saito, founder & general partner, KK Fund and Dan I. Siazon, senior vice-president & treasurer, Kickstart Ventures.

Chua’s ambition is to help grow the event into a regional platform for Malaysian entrepreneurs and regional players to come together and share knowledge. “It will be the best platform if you wish to really learn about the Malaysian entrepreneur and funding ecosystems.”

Those interested to attend can email MVCA.

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