In this article, we interviewed Prof. Dr. Wickneswari Ratnam, the Founder and Managing Director of Nomatech Sdn. Bhd., a Malaysian based startup that created a unique variety of Red Rice which brings great health benefits to society especially Diabetics. Nomatech received a strategic investment from Glocalink Singapore, a venture capital that invests in Agri-Food technologies based startups.
Scarce Of Funding for Deep Tech Startup
When Leave a Nest conducted TECH PLANTER in ASEAN, one of the main difficulties faced by Deep Tech Startups is to raise funds. There is not much funding available especially from venture capitals or corporate funding for them. This is because not many Venture Capitals can understand Deep-Tech and usually it takes a longer period to get return of investment. But the startup really needs investments in order for them to complete their R&D and expand the business. For Nomatech, they were lucky to receive great support from the Malaysian government’s funding system when they first spinned-off the company from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and built up their business. But as the company grew bigger and needed to expand, there were a limited number of local Venture Capitals that could provide strategic investment which not only involved funding, but also networking and market access that they were looking for.
Seizing The Golden Opportunity
Fortunately, they met with Glocalink Singapore which actively provides strategic investment to Agri-Food technology based startups in ASEAN in terms of capital & networks of leading corporations, investors & technologists to build enduring enterprises & partnerships. It was in 2019 when Nomatech met with the founders of Glocalink Singapore, Dr. Kengo Suzuki and Dr. Yukihiro Maru through a Business Tour program conducted by Leave a Nest. From there, Nomatech was then invited to Singapore to attend the official launch of Germi8 (the former name of Glocalink Singapore). After continuous engagement and discussion within a year, Glocalink Singapore was convinced by the great impact of Nomatech’s product to help with the diabetes situation in Southeast Asia and the world.
Gateway To International Market
Through the collaboration, Nomatech was not only strengthened financially, but they were able to expand connections with more international partners including a Japanese venture that is interested to work together with them in expanding the downstream products of their red rice in Japan. Positioning themselves as an Agriculture R&D company, Nomatech is also exploring to develop other crop varieties that can bring more economic benefits to the country and the world.
It is very important for startups to understand the importance of working together with venture capitalists that not only give funding, but also can provide different kinds of benefits including link-up with potential business partners to accelerate the business further. For those that are looking for this kind of opportunity and find strategic funders and partners, TECH PLANTER ecosystem might be able to provide you with the appropriate support according to your level and needs.