New Wave, a subsidiary of Philippines-based IP E-Game Ventures, has signed an agreement with Malaysia’s boutique investment firm Emissary Capital to set up a US$50-million fund for ASEAN startups.
The fund aims to build stronger collaboration between startups in the region, with a key focus on the Malaysian and Philippine market.
As per a press release, New Wave will invest up to US$7.5 million in the new fund as a Limited Partner. The two firms will form a joint venture to serve as General Partners to manage the fund’s investment decisions.
With both countries harnessing the digital economy to hasten COVID-19 recovery, the investment firms are keeping a bullish outlook on Malaysia and the Philippines as growth hubs, especially for tech-based startups.
Kuala Lumpur and Manila are seen to be among the top emerging startup ecosystems in the world, ranking 11th and 31st, respectively in the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2020 (GSER 2020).
In 2019, the Philippines officially enacted the Innovative Startup Law which aims to incentivise MSMEs in the country, while Malaysia has been working towards enabling businesses to innovate through the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).
Despite the disruptions of the pandemic, fintech is a common sub-sector strength identified in the report by both markets, evidenced by the proliferation of e-wallets and digital payments-focused business models. Other strong sub-sectors noted are Malaysia’s e-sports growth and the Philippines’ high e-commerce demand.