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Crewstone International to raise RM 500 million from regional investors into Malaysia

"With the current market volatility and 'post-covid' uncertainty, we (Crewstone International) would like to restore investor confidence by providing a safer passage for the inflow of foreign investment through a licensed fund with minimal risks. The fund seeks to invest in Malaysian companies with a clear exit strategy in the short run for capital gains." said Ahmad Izmir Mujab, Chief Executive Officer of Crewstone International Sdn Bhd.

Crewstone International Sdn Bhd (Malaysia), a regional private equity firm based in Kuala Lumpur, is targeting to raise an initial investment of over RM 500 million in 2021 for a series of funds regulated by Securities Commission Malaysia, that will invest in various late stage companies in Malaysia. Datuk Wira Jalilah Baba, Chairperson of Crewstone International also said "additionally, foreign investors will be given an opportunity to expand the reach of their investee companies through the partnership with local industry players. We are taking an investment promotion agency approach to this exercise," highlighting her experience as a former Director General of Malaysian Investment Development Authority, (MIDA).

The strategy aims to capitalize on the growth potential of the Malaysian market through a series of co-investments by specifically, regional private equity funds, and other institutional investors. The target investment will be disbursed in the form of bridging finance for companies to secure Series C and above or pre-IPO (initial public offering) into Bursa Malaysia.

The strategy has gained interest from a number of investors in the region. One such investor David Whitaker, Managing Director of Key Idea Capital (Australia), said "We are confident that the partnership synergy between Key Idea Capital and Crewstone International will open up the number of deal flow and co investment opportunities into Malaysian and Australian companies looking to expand in the ASEAN territory. We are working closely with Crewstone to evaluate these opportunities." Key Idea Capital Pty Ltd assists companies in sourcing and providing growth and project capital to drive the global commercialisation of product and services across multiple sectors. These include (but are not limited to); technology, automotive, pharmaceutical, equipment leasing, digital and holographic production and sports technology.

Key Idea Capital has been an early investor and supporter of companies such as Imagine Room Pty Ltd who are leading the charge in the development and deployment of holographic performance capture in Australia and the region. Other investee companies include specialists in sports campaign and fan engagement such as Benchvote, Fankave, and Enrams who focus on delivering an energy product. "We see that the substantial opportunity working with Crewstone will bring both regions enormous benefit through the access to capital for companies and the mutual knowledge transfer that will result. Key Idea Capital and its regional partners are ideally situated to ensure that many companies benefit from this new partnership." said Key Idea Capital.

Malaysia's net foreign direct investment fell 56% to US$3.4 billion in 2020, a government report said on Tuesday, as the Covid-19 pandemic hit economic activity globally and in the trade-reliant Southeast Asian nation.

Net foreign investment totalled RM13.9 billion in 2020, down from RM31.7 billion the previous year, according to a report published by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).

As a result there are a number of policies announced by the government that are expected to have a positive impact on foreign investment activities.

These include, as a response to the economic downturn, a number of stimulus packages including a series of 40 short-term economic recovery measures (collectively called PENJANA, Pelan Jana Semula Ekonomi Negara) with a total of RM35 billion (~US$8.2 billion) in value. Some of these initiatives are either aimed at FDI or will have an impact on FDI in Malaysia.

Crewstone International is one of the VC (venture capital) fund managers selected under the The Dana Penjana Nasional (DPN) programme through Penjana Kapital Sdn Bhd to raise funds from foreign investors into Malaysia.

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