Meet the Startups

Co-founded by Desmond Lee and Lim Jenn Yu, Appxplore Sdn Bhd is a games development studio that designs and develops games and applications for customers worldwide.

AppXplore specializes in casual 2D and 3D games for social and mobile platforms, such as iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, and Blackberry. AppXplore is one of a handful of mobile games studios in Southeast Asia to have produced several games that have passed the one million downloads mark. It developed the first Malaysian iOS game to be featured in Apple’s App Store and its most popular titles include Mobfish Hunter, Alien Hive, Sporos and Lightopus. In September 2014, Fatfish Internet Group acquired a 70% stake in Appxplore for an undisclosed sum in cash.

CatchThatBus is an online travel agent (OTA) that specializes in bus-related travel in SE Asia.

CatchThatBus provides consumers with the ability to browse options and purchase tickets from a range of trusted operators to over 500 destinations in Malaysia and Singapore via its website www.catchthatbus.com, the CatchThatBus Android app and network of trusted CatchThatBus agent counters. It also provides bus chartering and rental services for larger group/family trips. CatchThatBus was founded by Viren Doshi and Ashwin Jeyapalasingam in 2012. Cradle CIP150 recipient in 2012 and seed funding from Jungle Ventures in 2014.

MyTeksi is the taxi app that has taken Malaysia and neighbouring members of the ASEAN bloc by storm in just two years.

Legally regulated, safe and secure, it allows customers to order a taxi without the hassle of haggling or flagging down one off the street. MyTeksi is founded by Anthony Tan, together with his Harvard Business School classmate Tan Hooi Ling after their plan to revamp the Malaysian taxi industry won second place in Harvard's Business Plan Contest in 2011. The MyTeksi app was publicly launched on June 5, 2012, as the first such app in Malaysia and Southeast Asia to adopt a smartphone-to-smartphone technology for booking and dispatching cabs. To date, MyTeksi has received investments worth USD340 million including USD250 million raised from Softbank Internet and Media Inc in December 2014.

Fashion Valet is the brainchild of a husband-and wife team, Vivy Yusof and Fadzarudin Anuar.

Fashion Valet was kickstarted with RM100,000 and launched in November 2010 with 10 local brands. Today the company has 30 employees and stocks more than 300 brands across Southeast Asia. In 2012, e-government service giant MyEG invested in Fashion Valet after the founders overcame 40 competitors to win the Make The Pitch knockout competition. MyEG invested RM1 million (US$326,580 at the time) for a 30% stake in the company. In March this year, the husband-and-wife team behind Malaysia’s online shopping destination FashionValet had much to celebrate about, announcing a multimillion-dollar investment led by Elixir Capital, a global private equity firm based in Silicon Valley, California. The investment will allow the brand to scale its operations to other Asian cities.

Drawing upon his deep interest in renewable energy and having studied the living conditions of rural communities in Malaysia, INTI student Ganesh Muren devised a portable, solar-powered water filtration unit capable of providing up to 20,000 litres of low-cost, clean water as his final year engineering project.

The modular unit employs a physical filter and UV light to make water safe for consumption. Ganesh has already been approached by several companies for commercialisation of the product. Following a highly competitive pitch competition organized by MaGIC, Saora Industries was among 20 high-potential local startups selected from a shortlist of 50 to participate in the e@Stanford Program in November 2014.

Encr8tor Technologies was founded by Megat Farril Robert Rizal and Rizal Alwani Mohamed Nordin.

Encr8tor Technology Sdn Bhd is a data security company established with the main objective of securing and protecting data using 512 bit multi-layered encryption engine and authenticated secret/symmetric key infrastructure (SKI). Encr8tor creates the last line of defense for enterprises and organisations to bring back data privacy and security. Encr8tor has earlier secured its seed funding of RM500,000 and is currently riding the J Curve with the book order of RM600,000 for 2015. Encr8tor was also the winner of APICTA Awards 2014 for “Best Security Solutions”.

Community-Driven Products

myBanjir.com

The end of 2014 saw the north-eastern states of Malaysia dealing with the worst flood in the country since 2004, with over 100,000 people being forced to evacuate their homes.

A group of entrepreneurs at MaGIC banded together to create a portal providing the latest information on the floods. Called myBanjir – the website featured up-to-date flood-related news, information on river and road closures, weather forecasts, drop-off points, missing person SMS services provided by Celcom and a live Twitter feed of the #mybanjir hashtag. The site aimed to help flood victims restore communications with loved ones, and receive much-needed supplies, receiving over 100k views in 5 days.

Volunteers built the site in less than 24 hours

Visit the site  |  Learn how they did it

from the Community

Today I set my first foot into @cherylyeoh’s dream factory. Never would have imagined it but sure excited for what the future holds.

@khloweeeeh

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! Loved being able to 1) Meet other like minded entrepreneurs in the same boat 2) Get open and honest feedback from instructors when I ask them specific questions on real problems/decisions I am making for my business! :) xoxo

Hui Mathews

I went to the MaGIC Academy Launch Advance Track for the past 5 days and am basically mind-blown away on how powerful and great the organization is! It is not only about their excellent instructors, mentors and speakers (of cause the practical syllabus included - my brain is literally bloated with all the new insights!) the entire flow of the events is seamless!

From preparing the breakfast; considering on our comfort during the workshop; giving us extra info on the subjects; to arranging exposure with fund owners, I truly feel that I’m very well taken care of!! Getting to the end of the events I saw huge eyebags and exhausted faces but none of the organizers showed frustration. Their eyes though red, are full with passion! Salute to that!

The team has surely put in tremendous effort in making it a success. Congratulations MaGIC! You’ve made it! Lastly, I would like to thank you for organizing such great event. I can’t tell you how impactful it is to my life! Thanks you!

Low Kei

It is wonderful that MaGIC, the government and the people are involved in building this ecosystem of Social Enterprise. They see hope on having sustainable impact while also building wealth through their businesses.

Chen Zi Juin

I can see @MagicCyberjaya is doing their very best to nurture entrepreneurs in Malaysia. Efforts will not go to waste.

Adi Syukri

The Tech in Asia community discusses the question 'Is MaGIC really making a difference in Malaysia's startup scene?'

Not wanting to be left out, the StartupMamak Facebook Group passionately joins in on the conversation.

You don’t know me, but I’ve attended several events at your office this year and they were all awesome.

Here is a small token to say thank you for all that you have done for the startup community and here’s looking forward to more great things from MaGIC!

Hui Ru

It is really great for MaGIC to come out with a proper definition for SE. A lot of people have their own definitions and it is important to have a cohesive and wholesome definition that will move this industry forward in Malaysia.

Sasibai Kimis

Keep being that inspiration to entrepreneurs and startups. The best is yet to come!

BloomThis

Thank you Cheryl for introducing us to Square. Without you, we would never been able to create a strong impression with Square. I know of your sacrifices in making a stand for Malaysian entrepreneurs and I want you to know that your efforts have already made a great impact (from all the conversations I had with other participants).

Thank you Han for making sure everything is executed well. You are indeed a good mom for all of us. I know that you put so much effort in this program, I am sure that every one of us feels your sincerity and care.

Thank you Jen for being you. You are always in the background helping things out and never once seeking credit or acknowledgement. You are an angel in disguise and every organization is lucky to have someone like you around (Cheryl, don’t worry I am not poaching Jen).

As a whole, I value the friendship and the bonding I had with other participants. We are committed to continue the spirit of Silicon Valley in Malaysia. If this proves one day to be the turning point for our entrepreneurship ecosystem, I want you all to know that you are the catalyst for the change.

Chris Leong

This is not magic. This is real hard work. Kudos to the MaGIC team.

CK Yap

Just thought that the MaGIC YouTube channel deserves way more views and subs - tons of useful resources inside!

Zong Teoh

Hi @cherylyeoh just wanted to give feedback directly to you. After I went to #MSAlaunch and kept on learning even though I had no idea where to start. Then I went to #SWKL met a group of devs, we started @instacommerce.my won TM innovation award. Thank you for founding #MaGIC :)

@ainorsyahrizal

@LemonStand You're welcome! The startup community in Malaysia is rather active these years. We have been well led by @MagicCyberjaya :)

Daren Lowch

I'm doing interviews of social entrepreneurs right now and you wouldn't believe how many of them say things like "Besides for MaGIC, I don't know anyone else in government who is supporting social entrepreneurs."

Amongst both entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs, there is a real feeling that is *the* place you can go to to talk to people and learn stuff about starting your business.

One entrepreneur told me she had an idea and she wouldn't have seriously pursued seriously if she hadn't known about the work that MaGIC is doing to support entrepreneurs.

Kal Joffres

A Facebook post by an attendee of the MaGIC Academy: Zalora & The Malaysian Ecommerce Landscape goes viral with over 980 likes and 470 shares.

CEO chosen, MaGIC to get a dose of Silicon Valley Malay Mail Online
GE Summit: PM announces one-stop centre for creative industry in Cyberjaya The Star Online
MaGIC bina hab keusahawanan Utusan Online
MaGIC out to create an intangible via e@Stanford Digital News Asia
Malaysia Startup Wiki and The Malaysia Startup Landscape 5 Minute Guide NextUp Asia
MaGIC wants to make Malaysia the startup capital of Asia e27
GREAT 2014 platform bina usawahan Utusan Online
MaGIC main peranan penting Utusan Online
Program Keusahawanan MaGIC Diharap Tarik 50 Peratus Penyertaan Bumiputera Bernama
Geran RM20j untuk keusahawanan sosial Berita Harian

The MaGIC Team


Cheryl
CEO

Jen-Lin
SPECIAL OFFICER TO CEO

Afiq
EXEC DIRECTOR -
CORPORATE PLANNING

Nishreen
CORPORATE PLANNING

When asked about their sleeping habits, 41% of the team identified as night owls, 33% identified as early birds, 22% identified as both, and one undisclosed team member identified as Batman.


Norita
COO

Ebi
EXEC DIRECTOR -
OUTREACH & STAKEHOLDER

Yusnee
ASEAN CENTRE FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP (ACE)

Alif
MaGIC CENTRAL

19% of MaGICians surveyed identified as extroverts, 16% as introverts. The remaining 64%, apparently, were too special to be neatly sorted into a cateogry and chose to identify as ambiverts.


Ehon
EXEC DIRECTOR -
SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP (SE)

Dazriq
SE - VENTURES

Amir
SE - ACADEMY

Hairol
SE - COMMUNITY

The MaGIC team is well caffeinated. 67% of the team drink at least one cup of coffee a day, 10% drink 3 or more.


Warren
EXEC DIRECTOR -
ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Han
GLOBAL & REGIONAL PROGRAMS

Syazwani
GLOBAL & REGIONAL PROGRAMS

Michelle
MAGIC ACCELERATOR PROGRAM (MAP)

Before MaGIC, 33% of the team worked in corporate, 22% worked in a startup, 18% were in consulting, 14% with the government, 10% were students, and one was allegedly a US Marine, but we think he's actually a liar.


Imran
MAGIC ACADEMY

Syahrul
MaGIC ACADEMY

Hazel
EXEC DIRECTOR -
MARCOMM & COMMUNITY

Alan
MARKETING

53% of the team see THAT DRESS as white and gold, and 47% see it as black and blue.


Nora
PR

Jowynne
COMMUNITY

Fimi
TECH & PRODUCT

Yee Siang
LEAD DEVELOPER

Millenium Falcon or the USS Enterprise? 55% of the team prefer Star Wars, 22% prefer Star Trek, and 22% didn't get the reference and were sent to the corner to think about what they've done.


Razlan
LEAD DESIGNER

Lokman
FINANCE

Shaari
IT

Aisyah
MAGIC ACADEMY

Well travelled? 30% of the team have been to more than 10 countries. 19% have been to more than 20.


Razi
HUMAN RESOURCES

Vivan
MAGIC ACADEMY

Reshmi
MARCOMM & COMMUNITY

Zul
FINANCE

Despite initial suspicions, MaGICians actually reported an equal distribution of astrological signs, proving that magic does not belong to any specific part of the year. Hooray!


Andi
STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is MaGIC only focused on tech startups? What about all the other non-tech businesses like F&B, retail, agriculture, manufacturing, small businesses, etc?

    As part of our given mandate, MaGIC aims to empower high-growth startups that have the potential to build regional and global businesses - especially by leveraging the 600 million-strong ASEAN population right in our backyard. In our first year, we focused the MaGIC team’s combined skillsets on technology-enabled companies to achieve our goals of putting Malaysia on the map. At the same time, we paved the way for longer-term initiatives that would close the gap for companies not yet ready to adopt technology in their operations.

    Malaysia has an aggressive vision - she aims to become a high-income nation by the year 2020. A key part of that realizing that vision requires agencies like MaGIC to educate and encourage entrepreneurs to leverage technology and innovation in their business models and scale beyond Malaysia to remain competitive in the light of current global trends.

    That said, MaGIC welcomes startups from any industry. All our events are open and cater to various facets of growing a business. In fact, we do not see technology and ICT as a separate, distinct sector, but rather an enabler that can be applied to any type of business, including retailers, fashion, food and beverage, agriculture, manufacturing, and so on. But these companies must leverage technology to innovate and scale. For example, GrabTaxi.com/MyTeksi, iKargo.com and TheLorry.com are examples of startups in the transportation or logistics industry that have leveraged technology to disrupt an existing business model. Our sister agency, SME Corp provides support to a broader range of small business owners across the country.


  2. Why is MaGIC only serving entrepreneurs in Cyberjaya or Klang Valley?

    We are physically located in Cyberjaya and as such, entrepreneurs in Klang Valley gain automatic exposure to the events and activities we organize. However, in 2014 MaGIC took significant strides as part of our outreach programs to go outside of Klang Valley. The MaGIC Academy team hosted workshops on Social Media Marketing, Brand Strategy, Visual Design, Beginner HTML5, Internet of Things (IoT) and Social Entrepreneurship in cities nationwide.

    In 2015, we are looking to establish ties and foster an entrepreneurial presence in states such as Kelantan, Perak, Melaka, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak. We also have a 3-year partnership with UP Global to conduct 73 Startup Weekend hackathons in all 14 states by 2017.

    Cyberjaya, however, will continue to be developed as the primary entrepreneurial hub of Malaysia. This is to ensure foreign VCs and investors have a primary point of contact when looking to invest in local startups. The single hub model has been a core catalyst of success around the world - Silicon Valley in the US, Block 71 in Singapore and Santiago in Chile - and we are looking to emulate that model here.

    Building a successful ecosystem takes time, and more just a physical location. Through MaGIC Academy, we are looking to create and spread a localized, digital knowledge base that can be accessed and utilized by entrepreneurs all around the nation. Our YouTube channel now has almost 120 hours of high-quality content and over 15,000 views. This remains our larger goal - knowledge transfer that crosses borders, and something that MaGIC will invest a lot of time and resources in during our first few years.

    Ultimately, the success of a startup ecosystem relies on like-minded people and the human capital we can attract. With the MaGIC Accelerator Program (MAP) bringing in a critical mass of 75 new startups from all around ASEAN to Cyberjaya for four months at a time, twice a year, we’re confident that regional investors will acknowledge Malaysia as the center of high-growth entrepreneurship in the ASEAN region.


  3. Why is MaGIC based in Cyberjaya?

    Cyberjaya is part of the nation's Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) initiative and an integral part of Malaysia's infrastructure, built to realize Vision 2020. MaGIC is a key piece of the plan to cement Cyberjaya’s role as the go-to knowledge and technology hub in the country.

    Our Cyberjaya facility is equipped with best-in-class equipment and infrastructure that allows us to cater to crowds of various sizes. MaGIC was built with the vision of providing coworking and acceleration space for entrepreneurs - allowing people to rapidly create, test and iterate on their ideas and products - and also to build a community of like-minded people who can form synergistic relationships and build great companies.


  4. How is MaGIC different from all the other entrepreneurship agencies in Malaysia?

    MaGIC aims to be the uniting platform of the local startup ecosystem. We do not believe in reinventing the wheel and strongly believe that we need to emulate what has worked and improve on what has not. This is the core philosophy guiding our planning and operations.

    Instead of traditional brick and mortar SMEs, service-based industries, listed companies and so on, MaGIC is more focused on developing and supporting high-growth startups from a variety of industries with the potential to scale regionally or globally.

    This is also why MaGIC does not have a grant scheme for entrepreneurs, as Cradle does. Our focus is on empowering the ecosystem and serving as a launchpad for local entrepreneurs to gain access to regional and global players. To not just learn, but actively share their products, services and capabilities with the world.

    MaGIC works closely with MDeC, which oversees the development of MSC Malaysia and the national agenda for enhancing Malaysia’s status as a global hub and preferred location for ICT industries. MDeC’s role is far broader, ultimately seeking to enhance business productivity and improve standards of living by spurring Malaysia’s ICT industry development and digital economic growth.

    MaGIC is also one of a few government agencies mandated to develop the nascent social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Malaysia with the support of youth volunteer agency 1M4U and MyHarapan.

    Our scope does not overlap with other agencies but instead encourages collaboration between MaGIC and other agencies to create a vibrant local entrepreneurship ecosystem, invite foreign investments, and encourage global market penetration.

    As detailed in the report, we have established many partnerships in our first year with organizations that have a successful track record developing startups.


  5. Since MaGIC is under MoF, does this mean you have an unlimited budget for all your programs?

    No, like any other government agency, a budget is allocated for our programs and operating expenses. This is a rule applicable to all government department and ministries.

    Like any startup or business, MaGIC has limited runway and pre-agreed upon requirements and success criteria. We have to justify our spending and show that we have earned adequate quantitative and qualitative return on investment. We prefer it this way because we want to be bound by the same rules that we preach to our entrepreneurs.

    We are responsible for updating various stakeholders, including the Prime Minister, on the progress of the organisation and if we are on track to achieving our goals – which directly contribute to the nation's agenda of becoming a knowledge-based economy and high-income nation by 2020.


  6. Is MaGIC giving out grants to entrepreneurs? If not, what is the budget being used for?

    MaGIC is not a funding agency, which is the domain of agencies such as Cradle, MAVCAP, Teraju and MDV. We are looking to implement a different model that has been tried and tested in other ecosystems similar to ours - a knowledge platform archetype, one in line with the nation's core focus.

    Our budget is used primarily to create, organize, and iterate on foundational programs that focus on the various facets of building a business - such as customer validation, product development, growth marketing, fundraising, regional marketing and branding.

    These programs require intense planning and cross country partnerships that need to be initiated, formulated and implemented locally. Most of our resources are consumed by these efforts.

    MaGIC also provides infrastructure to create a sense of community among entrepreneurs. This includes our coworking space, academy training rooms, a 200-person accelerator space, and an auditorium where entrepreneurs can pitch to investors.

Can’t get enough MaGIC?

We send out regular updates about what we’re doing in the community

If you don’t want to wait a whole other year for the next update, stay in touch and we’ll keep you in the loop about what’s happening with Malaysian startups.

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