Earlier today, Cradle Fund CEO Nazrin Hassan died tragically after a fire broke out in his Mutiara Damansara residence. According to early statements given by the police, his death was determined to be caused by smoke inhalation after the bedroom he was resting in had caught fire.
Aged 45, Nazrin is survived by his wife Samirah Muzaffar and five children including three stepchildren and a son from a previous marriage.
Nazrin had been CEO of Cradle since 2007 and was involved heavily in growing Malaysia’s startup ecosystem via numerous initiatives including the Angel Tax Incentive and the Malaysian Business Angel Network (MBAN), and played an important role in nurturing many of today’s high-profile companies including Grab (then known as MyTeksi), iMoney, Piktochart, and StoreHub among others.
As the CEO of Cradle, Nazrin deeply believed in seeing the entrepreneurs as themselves, not just the products they were building. Among his actions that will long be remembered in the Malaysian startup ecosystem was his support of early stage startups.
“We’re always proud to know Cradle was a part in paving a path for them when they were just starting out. Our function is to support as many as possible to get them to commercial success and where they go from there is up to them,”
Under his leadership, Cradle ran programmes like:
- Coach And Grow, which helped at least one third of their participants double their revenue
- DEC800, to help startups who had already validated their business model to raise capital to grow beyond their early pool of customers
- CIP300, which was introduced to close the funding gap that most early stage businesses face during their ideation stage and early commercialisation of products.
A mentor and a stalwart supporter of many entrepreneurs and businesses, he believed that there is no lack of innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit in Malaysia.
After having made a lasting impact on the local ecosystem, many came out on social media to express their sadness and also thank Nazrin for his contributions.
“We’re saddened to hear this news today,” said Grab in an official statement on their Facebook page. “Nazrin and Cradle Fund were the first to believe in us back when Grab was MyTeksi, a brand that no one had heard of.”
“You showed us it was possible to make Malaysia proud. We hope to continue showing the same support to the little dreamers, just like you once showed us. Our thoughts and prayers are with Nazrin’s family.”
Other similar sentiments that surfaced on social media:
Indeed, the Malaysian startup ecosystem has lost an extremely important custodian in Nazrin, and we along with the rest of the community will miss his presence greatly. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this difficult time.
Feature Image Credit: MaGIC