Here’s what you should know today.

1. Malaysia’s Cradle Fund starts direct equity investments with new $1.8m program

Malaysian government-owned Cradle Fund, a key influencer in the nation’s startup scene, has unveiled a new investment product which will make direct equity investments in early-stage startups.

DEQ800, the name of the new program, is a step away from Cradle’s role as co-investor and marks its continuous move from grants towards equity investing. Cradle has allocated a total of US$1.8 million for DEQ800, which will inject between US$67,000 and US$180,000 into tech startups

 Cradle has planned up to 10 direct equity and about three co-investment deals in 2017.
Read the rest of the story here.


2. RHL Ventures targets proven, successful startups that need funding

Founded by wealthy Southeast Asian offsprings of Malaysia and Singapore’s wealthiest families, RHL Ventures has backed two startups since its debut last year.

Which ones? One of them is Singapore based Perx, which has morphed from a retail rewards app to provide corporate clients with data and analysis on consumer behavior. Sidestep, an app (backed by Beyonce) that allows fans to buy concert memorabilia online is another.

RHL Ventures are proving access for US startups that want to enter Asia, but only think about China.

In Southeast Asia, RHL has positioned itself between early-stage venture capitalists and large institutional investors such as Temasek Holdings Pte. The firm said they want to fill a gap in the region for the subsequent rounds of funding – series B, C and D.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Recommended Reading: Inside the unraveling of the Thrillist-JackThreads marriage of content and commerce

Back in 2010, Thrillist bought flash-sale site JackThreads for a skimpy $10 million, and Lerer gushed that it was a “win-win,” a “spectacular” company with “lots of potential.”

The idea was to give Thrillist a foothold into a new revenue stream by plugging the users of the going-out guide for guys into JackThreads’ private shopping community. A perfect blend between content and commerce.

Ultimately, Thrillist realized that the ecommerce business is a low-margin grind, and content and commerce were hard to mix organizationally

“It’s comically expensive to do it right. Everything gets destroyed by Amazon,” said Ted Gushue, ex-executive editor editor of Supercompressor, Thrillist’s ecommerce vertical.

Read the rest of the story here.


4. Community Chatter: NET-A-PORTER looks to the middle east 

Source: BusinessofFashion’s twitter page

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