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Iris Capital Partners announced launch of $38 M venture debt fund in Malaysia

Malaysia’s Iris Capital Partners has announced the opening of an RM160 million (US $37.8 million) venture loan fund, possibly the country’s first privately run venture debt fund.

The Iris Invest is a new vehicle that intends to fund high-impact businesses in Malaysia and the ASEAN region, independent of sector or stage of funding.

According to a release, the Iris Fund would help local firms scale outside their home market and Asian enterprises enter the Malaysian market.

Hanwha Asset Management Co. of South Korea will co-manage the fund with Iris Capital Partners, marking the group’s first venture debt cooperation in Malaysia.

Iris Capital Partners was founded in 2020 as part of Malaysia’s Dana Penjana Nasional initiative, an RM600 million (US $141.9 million) government-backed startup investment fund. Iris Capital uses the Fund of Money (FOF) mechanism to bring in funds that will be matched 1:1 between government-backed Penjana Kapital and a number of other institutional and high-net-worth investors.

“We do look for companies with comprehensive business plans and projections that have clear strategies for long-term growth prospects,” said Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmad, chairman of the Iris Fund.

“This fund aims to offer more accessible financing to startups and SMEs while allowing founders to control their dilution better,” said Kimo Kim, partner of Iris Fund.

Early stage firms with verified business concepts and significant market development possibilities are the principal benefactors of venture loan funds. This funding method frequently reduces shareholder dilution, improves financial liquidity, and facilitates regional fundraising rounds.

As a result, startups have more control over their assets while still being able to obtain finance that will help them develop exponentially in a shorter amount of time.

Iris Fund made its first investment in September, contributing $22 million to Growthwell Foods, an alternative meat and seafood protein source for F&B businesses in Singapore and 10 other APAC nations.




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