Malaysia conducive for start-ups

PHOTO: Malaysia conducive for start-ups

KUALA LUMPUR - German entrepreneur Tim M. Marbach finds Malaysia a conducive place for start-ups. The founding partner of Asia Venture Group Sdn Bhd described Malaysia as the "Disneyland for entrepreneurs".

Marbach, who was a former intern with global investment bank Goldman Sachs, turned down an offer as an investment banker to start his online business, Bonial International Group with offices in Berlin and five other countries.

"I then went to Silicon Valley to look for ideas and with the help of venture capitals, I started the company," he said.

The online shopping portal provides shopping information for the locals. After selling his stake in 2011, he ventured on to start the current company.

The MSC-status company, which was set up in early 2013, will invest in one to two start-ups a year that is scalable and in the digital space with initial investments of US$500,000 (S$624,800) to US$1 million.

Emphasising on quality, he said: "There is still a lot of potential in the digital space and we are continually looking out for talents in this space."

"I want to find good start-ups, invest in them and continue to support them," he told StarBiz.

Describing Malaysia as a country with nice weather and a good quality of life, he said Malaysians were achievers.

Its first investment in Malaysia, iMoney.my. now has 50 personnel. The company does price comparison of home loans, credit cards, personal loans, car loans and savings accounts via a website. It has customers in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia and Phillipines.

Marbach, who is also executive chairman of the company, said he was keen to invest in companies that help people do things better.

"We are not keen on investing in games-related companies. iMoney.my, for instance, helps consumers to make educated comparisons before signing the dotted line of a loan agreement," he said.