News ≫ Dialog Axiata launches Sri Lanka’s first digital venture capital fund

Dialog Axiata launches Sri Lanka’s first digital venture capital fund

Dec 21, 2017
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Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, announced the launch of the Digital Innovation Fund (DIF), in the presence of Malaysian Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak to signify the Malaysian investment in setting up the country’s first digital venture capital fund to exclusively focus on financially supporting Sri Lankan digital startups. The launch was witnessed by Malaysia’s International Trade and Industry Minister Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamad, Sri Lanka’s Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando, Axiata Group President and CEO Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim and Dialog Axiata PLC Group CEO Supun Weerasinghe. The Digital Innovation Fund, initiated and anchored by Dialog, will be managed by BOV Capital— a fund management firm that specializes in investing in technology companies.

The Digital Innovation Fund will invest in startups that have strong business models, have proven product market fit, demonstrated some ability to expand in Sri Lanka and have the potential to become market shaping digital businesses in the country and beyond.

The fund aims to deploy a corpus of Rs.2.3 billion into high potential Sri Lankan startups, and will invest most of the fund into early stage companies with each investment ranging between Rs.50 million to Rs.200 million per company.

The fund will also set aside 20 percent of its total amount to invest in startups in their seed stage, especially those which are looking for investments below Rs.40 million per company.

In addition to financing, the fund will provide support for start-ups and businesses through mentoring, knowledge sharing and business development.

Potential investees will also gain insight to marketing, and other critical business processes leveraging strengths of the Smart Axiata Digital Innovation Fund, a similar venture capital fund that was set up to support incubation programmes in Cambodia. This will further help create and realize value that remains untapped.

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