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In the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship, Malaysian startups are increasingly striving to make their mark on the global stage. 

With a rapidly growing ecosystem ripe with talent, capital, and ambition, the nation stands at the peak of a transformative journey towards becoming a key player in the global startup landscape. 

However, accessing the radar of international investors remains a formidable challenge. 

Here’s what the venture capitalists at KL20 Summit 2024 believe Malaysian startups can do to capture attention and secure global investors’ backing.

A focus on industry specialisation

One key strategy for Malaysian startups to captivate global investors is by honing in on particular industries or sectors where the nation can excel, said GP Bullhound Partner Ben Prada.

GP Bullhound Partner Ben Prada / Image Credit: KL20 Summit 2024

By defining a clear narrative of Malaysia’s ambition to dominate specific sectors, startups can garner attention and support from investors who seek to capitalise on emerging markets.

Nordstar managing partner Ole Ruch added that success stories from previous ventures serve as a testament to the notion that success breeds success.

“For example, if you look at Spotify, in Europe, I think 30 companies are born from people that were involved in that process. We also know what PayPal has done to SpaceX and everything,” he said.

If Malaysia takes a cue from these successful companies, it can create a flywheel effect of success, propelling its startups onto the global radar.

The thing is, Malaysians rarely share success stories, resulting in a lack of inspirational examples.

But what they don’t know is that sharing these stories can amp up confidence in global investors, proving that Malaysia’s got serious potential for innovation and startups.

Nordstar managing partner Ole Ruch / Image Credit: KL20 Summit 2024

Ability to harness regional connectivity

According to Granite Asia senior managing partner Jenny Lee, Malaysian startups must leverage the nation’s strategic position within Southeast Asia to truly stand out in the global arena. 

“With a rapidly growing regional market and increasing connectivity, Malaysia serves as a gateway to a vast addressable market,” she said. 

By forging partnerships and collaborations across borders, startups can tap into the diverse consumer base of the region, catapulting their growth and attracting the attention of global investors seeking exposure to Southeast Asia’s dynamic economies.

Granite Asia senior managing partner Jenny Lee / Image Credit: KL20 Summit 2024

And the latter is important because at the heart of Malaysia’s startup ecosystem lies a rich pool of talent, fueled by a vibrant and diverse community of entrepreneurs. All this potential could go to waste without the right resources to empower them.

“To propel these talents to global recognition, access to capital is paramount,” emphasised Jenny. 

Courage to set ambitious goals

As Malaysia embarks on this journey towards global recognition, entrepreneurs must think big and set ambitious goals

Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) chief investment officer Hazman Hilmi said that startups can grab the chances in front of them by not being complacent. Instead, they should welcome new ideas and be willing to take risks.

KWAP chief investment officer Hazman Hilmi / Image Credit: KL20 Summit 2024

“With the right support, Malaysia and Southeast Asia as a whole are primed to flourish on the global stage, offering unparalleled opportunities for growth and investment,” he said. 

Malaysia isn’t just dreaming of climbing the global startup ladder—it’s actually within arm’s reach. The opportunities are already there, and our stakeholders just need more courage to reach out in order to pull them closer.

Now’s the perfect time for entrepreneurs to put Malaysia on the map for global investors, sparking a wave of innovation and prosperity.

  • Learn more about the KL20 Summit 2024 here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: KL20 Summit 2024

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)