MDEC partners with KPMG to groom next Malaysian unicorns

29 March 2023 2 min. read

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is teaming up with KPMG to power its ambition of helping promising Malaysian tech firms attain the coveted status of a unicorn.

According to Mahadhir Aziz, the CEO of MDEC, the goal of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation is to nurture five homegrown Malaysian unicorns by 2025, utilising a two-pronged approach consisting of capacity building and enhancement initiatives for tech entrepreneurs looking to accelerate their expansion.

In support of the goal, the MDEC has established the FOX program – a development program that selects 20 high-performing start-ups and supports them on their journey to potentially unicorn status. Unicorns are startups with a valuation of $1 billion or more.

MDEC partners with KPMG for FOX program

As part of the partnership with KPMG, the Big Four firm will consult, support and coach the start-ups, covering diverse fields such as market research, technology progress, risk, organisation, compliance with regulations, and other relevant aspects, depending on the specific needs of the business.

“There is tremendous potential for homegrown companies to grow beyond our border and make their mark in the global map,” said Johan Idris, Managing Partner of KPMG in Malaysia.

“Malaysia as a nation has all the right ingredients for technology companies to grow, supported by a modern and digital infrastructure, progressive policies for business, a skilled workforce, a tech savvy customers base and geographic proximity to a fast-growing Asia Pacific region,” he added.

The FOX program is part of the Malaysia Digital national strategic initiative, which aims to boost the digital capacities and capabilities of the country, increase the overall ecosystem value, and accelerate the growth of the digital economy.

To be eligible for the FOX program, start-ups must be privately held in Malaysia and show evidence of strong growth. This can be demonstrated through a revenue of over MYR20 million ($4.45 million), having raised Series A funding, or having a robust 3-year growth track record.

The start-ups that meet these criteria are shortlisted to participate in the program. According to the MDEC, between 400 to 500 start-ups are “being watched closely”.

Alvin Gan, an Executive Director in KPMG’s Management Consulting business, said that most of the companies with potential come from the fintech and payment space. Other hot sectors include: digital health, open finance, Islamic banking, agriculture technology, smart cities, and emerging technologies.

Idris: “There is high anticipation that the successful completion of the FOX program by the selected pioneers will inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs within Malaysia.”