FWD Group Holdings Limited (FWD Group) has announced the launch of TIM Ventures, a RM45 million venture capital fund in collaboration with Artem Ventures, a Malaysia-based venture capital firm, to invest in emerging start-ups in the insurtech and Islamic fintech space in Malaysia.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are a critical component of the Malaysian economy, contributing more than a third of gross domestic product and providing job opportunities to more than four million workers in Malaysia[i].
“By launching TIM Ventures, we hope to support early-stage entrepreneurs in Malaysia by not just providing them with financing, but also helping to connect them with the networks and expertise they need to succeed,” said Sim Preston, FWD Managing Director and Group Chief Operating Officer. “We hope to invest in businesses that share our vision as we work together on changing the way people feel about takaful.”
The fund has already invested into four start-ups, including winners from the FWD Start-Up Studio, a pre-accelerator programme launched in 2021, with the aim of becoming a leading innovation hub in Malaysia. The companies are:
- Senang: an on-demand subscription-based insurance company;
- Pewarisan: an online platform providing digital solutions for Islamic inheritance planning;
- Du-It: a Malaysia-based fintech company; and
- Blueduck: a zero-deposit insurance agency.
Binayak Dutta, FWD Managing Director, Emerging Markets and Group Chief Distribution Officer, said, “The launch of this fund, together with our pre-accelerator programme, FWD Start-Up Studio, signifies our continued commitment to the Malaysian market and the role we want to play in closing the takaful protection gap. This initiative allows us to partner with exciting emerging talent and develop innovative new technologies to achieve a brighter, digital future.”
Ts. Mahadhir Aziz, CEO of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, said, “We welcome the establishment of this venture capital fund to support the growth of Malaysia’s SMEs operating in these sectors. We will strive to ensure further effective collaborations are formed, to support this growing technology ecosystem in line with our new national strategic initiative, Malaysia Digital (MD). We are particularly focused on the innovative Islamic fintech segment, where Malaysia has been a global leader for eight consecutive years.”