RHL Ventures launches US$24.3M sector-agnostic fund to invest in Malaysian startups, SMEs
Malaysia’s private investment firm, RHL Ventures, has announced the launch of a RM100 million (US$24.3 million) sector-agnostic fund, which will focus on backing startups and early-stage SMEs with significant operations in Malaysia.
Several notable investors backed the fund, with significant money coming from SME Corp. Malaysia, a central coordinating agency under the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development.
While a large portion of its previous investments had been channelled to grow innovative startups within the tech space, the focus of the firm’s latest fund will be broader and more sector-agnostic.
“Ever since we started RHL Ventures, we have been inspired by how small businesses — even those with the humblest of beginnings — can make transformational impact in their industries and the greater economy,” said Rachel Lau, Managing Partner of RHL Ventures.
“The government has typically led investments that support local businesses during their early stages, so we are glad that the current administration is ramping up its support to instil more innovation within the local business sector. What RHL Ventures aims to do with this fund is to invest in new businesses that are looking to bring new ideas and disruption in the current ways of doing business,” Lau added.
“In Malaysia, SMEs comprise over 98 per cent of total business establishments and contribute more than 37 per cent to the national GDP — they form a central pillar of Malaysia’s economy,” said Noor Azmi Mat Said, CEO of SME Corp. Malaysia. “To ensure a higher contribution of SMEs to the national economy, there is a need for more concerted efforts to be affected by stakeholders within the SME ecosystem; an example which private sector players such as RHL Ventures is helping to lead.”
Founded in 2016, RHL Ventures is led by Rachel Lau, Raja Hamzah Abidin and Jo Jo Kong. To date, it has invested several tech startups, including healthcare SaaS company HealthMetrics, and healthy snacks e-commerce platform Signature Market.
In February, RHL Ventures invested an undisclosed sum in Atap.co, an online marketplace for interior designer sourcing and hiring.