KUALA LUMPUR: Cradle Fund, the state-owned early stage funding agency, plans to disburse RM25 million this year to innovative and aspiring technopreneurs, said chief executive Nazrin Hassan.
"With a budgeted amount of RM145 million (for five years), we see growth in numbers of funds and funding. We allocated RM30 million and RM25 million for the first and second year."
However, he declined to disclose Cradle's key performance indicators in terms of grants approval.
Under the purview of the Finance Ministry, Cradle is tasked to fund and commercialise conceptual ideas.
A total of RM100 million was allocated for Cradle when it was first operational in 2003, for Cradle Investment Programme (CIP) funding.
Under the 10th Malaysia Plan (2011-2015), a total RM145 million was budgeted for the agency.
Cradle offers three type of grants to local technopreneurs, namely CIP Catalyst and U-CIP Catalyst for prototype development, and CIP 500 to help technology start-ups attain commercialisation.
The size of grants under CIP Catalyst and U-CIP Catalyst has been raised to RM150,000 from RM50,000 initially. While for CIP 500, it is up to RM500,000.
Some of Cradle's big success are the grants approved to iMoney.com, a financial comparison portal and Carlist.my, the largest online car listing in Malaysia.
Carlist.my was acquired by Catcha Group and listed on the Australian stock exchange.
"Now, we focus more on quality ideas than quantity of grants," Nazrin said, adding that Cradle is now more aggressive in approving grants and making sure more companies benefit from early inceptions."
He said to date, Cradle has approved some 500 grants to fund prototype development and 100 grants for commercialisation.