About us
Our Goal

Established in 2000, Intelligent Capital is a pioneering venture capital firm in Malaysia that focuses on tech startups. We paint the picture that startups envisioned by providing them with unparalleled support, including financial capital, strategic advice, and operational guidance.

 

Our extensive knowledge about the market also allows us to drive different initiatives to achieve its full potential. We pride ourselves in being able to pave the way in building long-term, sustainable and successful companies – today and tomorrow.

We have been investing for many years and a question we get asked often is what do we look for?

Since we invest primarily in early stage companies what matters most to us is the quality of the entrepreneurs who are promoting the idea. We know it is difficult for new companies to succeed, so we look for people with special qualities: they must be driven, they must be able to pivot if need be, they must be able to handle a lot of uncertainty, they must have a huge appetite for work, they must constantly be learning, they must be able to motivate and manage teams. The entrepreneurial journey is a tough one and not everyone succeeds. Without an indomitable spirit it is difficult to get to the end.

We start with the business plan. This is not a plan set in stone but is the first look at the quality of the mind or minds that have put it together. Have they thought deeply about the market? Have they done enough research to support their idea? Have they thought about the resources needed to succeed? Do they have a few plans to mitigate risks? Have they got past experience to support the plan? Can they justify all the main assumptions? How feasible is the roll out plan?

Beyond dealing with the entrepreneurial team the deal must address a big enough market so that if it succeeds it is worth everyone’s time. There are many small good business ideas. But we are looking for ideas which solve pain points in relatively sizeable markets.

What big problem does it solve? Does it matter to the customer? How is it faster, stronger, better?

Only with a substantial point of difference can you create a defensible business.

We are based in Malaysia. We only look at companies that operate out of Malaysia or companies which operate within the region. We are a small team and our expertise is rooted in our knowledge of local conditions.
We commit time and we expect a decent payoff for risking our capital and committing our time. The stake may be small if we are not expected to do much work, but if we are expected to assist, it must be worth our while.

We don’t believe that bigger is better. Our ideal investment is putting in a small amount to make a huge amount but that is generally not possible. Our investment sweet spot is in the 200,000 to 1.5 million region.

Why do investors look for us?

There are better, more successful, venture capitalists in Malaysia. We make no claim to be the best but we do offer a few advantages: we generally move pretty quickly, we set high standards, we tend to be “fair” and view our relationships as long-term ones. We also commit to working with the entrepreneur.

We understand that for a start up to take off and reach orbit is a huge task and we commit time to help the entrepreneur to do this. This means helping them sort out their back of house, thinking through the start up issues: hiring, funding, getting sales, accounting, reporting so they can build a sustainable business.

What Do We Look For
We have been investing for many years and a question we get asked often is what do we look for?

Since we invest primarily in early stage companies what matters most to us is the quality of the entrepreneurs who are promoting the idea. We know it is difficult for new companies to succeed, so we look for people with special qualities: they must be driven, they must be able to pivot if need be, they must be able to handle a lot of uncertainty, they must have a huge appetite for work, they must constantly be learning, they must be able to motivate and manage teams. The entrepreneurial journey is a tough one and not everyone succeeds. Without an indomitable spirit it is difficult to get to the end.

We start with the business plan. This is not a plan set in stone but is the first look at the quality of the mind or minds that have put it together. Have they thought deeply about the market? Have they done enough research to support their idea? Have they thought about the resources needed to succeed? Do they have a few plans to mitigate risks? Have they got past experience to support the plan? Can they justify all the main assumptions? How feasible is the roll out plan?

Beyond dealing with the entrepreneurial team the deal must address a big enough market so that if it succeeds it is worth everyone’s time. There are many small good business ideas. But we are looking for ideas which solve pain points in relatively sizeable markets.

What big problem does it solve? Does it matter to the customer? How is it faster, stronger, better?

Only with a substantial point of difference can you create a defensible business.

Where Do We Invest
We are based in Malaysia. We only look at companies that operate out of Malaysia or companies which operate within the region. We are a small team and our expertise is rooted in our knowledge of local conditions.
How Much Do We Invest In
We commit time and we expect a decent payoff for risking our capital and committing our time. The stake may be small if we are not expected to do much work, but if we are expected to assist, it must be worth our while.

We don’t believe that bigger is better. Our ideal investment is putting in a small amount to make a huge amount but that is generally not possible. Our investment sweet spot is in the 200,000 to 1.5 million region.

How We Operate
Why do investors look for us?

There are better, more successful, venture capitalists in Malaysia. We make no claim to be the best but we do offer a few advantages: we generally move pretty quickly, we set high standards, we tend to be “fair” and view our relationships as long-term ones. We also commit to working with the entrepreneur.

We understand that for a start up to take off and reach orbit is a huge task and we commit time to help the entrepreneur to do this. This means helping them sort out their back of house, thinking through the start up issues: hiring, funding, getting sales, accounting, reporting so they can build a sustainable business.

Who Are We
Asgari Stephens
Founder and Managing Director

Asgari is originally from Sabah now residing in Kuala Lumpur. He has extensive experience in both public and private equity investing in Malaysia for over 30 years.

He is the co-founder of Kumpulan Sentiasa Cemerlang Sdn Bhd (“KSC”), an investment advisory and fund management group. He started two venture capital firms, iSpring Venture Management Sdn Bhd and Intelligent Capital Sdn Bhd while continuing to work with KSC. He was previously the chairman of the Malaysian Venture Capital Association.

Asgari is a director of Jaycorp Berhad and Innoprise Plantations Berhad where he oversees the corporate governance, investment strategy, risk management, and process improvement functions. He has previously served as an independent non-executive director of Maxis Berhad and Privasia Technology Berhad and the chairman of Mudajaya Berhad.

Cheong Luo Jun
Investment Associate

Jun is an Investment Associate at Intelligent Capital. He is responsible for leading and overseeing advisory engagement, strategic investment, and operation functions of the portfolio companies.

Prior to joining Intelligent Capital, Jun was an investment analyst in a venture capital firm where he led in screening and evaluating potential venture capital investment deals, conducting independent industry research and identifying macro trends and key growth drivers, performing investment due diligence.

Jun holds a bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Science from the University of Kent.

Locate Us

Address

No. 18, 2, Jalan 1/76C, Desa Pandan, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, WP Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Phone

+6 03-9281 6588

Fax

+6 03-9281 6598