Support during the COVID-19 pandemic

This is a crazy time for everyone. By putting together the list of resources below (some from our own efforts, some from the ecosystem players), we hope we can help our startup community to push through this tricky period. If anyone has a resource to add, please email us at

  • For Investors: Angel Investing Landscape in light of COVID recession
    We have been organising webinars for continued learning. And since it's online, you can access it from anywhere. But what else would you like to know more about? Please share your thoughts with us, to help us plan our next two quarters.
  • For Startups: Webinar Topics
    We have been running webinars to continue our community learning and sharing. Let us know the topics that you would like to find out more on. We will try our best to put something together to support your requests.
Grants & Supports

Southeast Asia:

Grants & Supports available in Malaysia
  • Penjana Kapital
    A RM600 million investment fund by the Government of Malaysia for the venture capital and start-up sectors in Malaysia.
  • Loans for SMEs & micro-credit for small businesses
  • Tax exemptions and deferments for Tourism Industry (until Aug 2020)
    Travel agencies, hotels, airlines, as well as businesses in the tourism industry, will be given a deferment of their monthly tax installments for six months starting April 1, 2020. Hotels will also be exempt from service tax from March 1, 2020, until August 31, 2020.
  • Extra funding for skills training

    The government will provide 100 million ringgit (US$45 million) to help businesses affected by COVID-19 to upgrade the skills of its workers. This includes for sectors, such as retail, hospitality, and tourism in addition to electrical, electronic, and automotive manufacturing.

    Another 50 million ringgit (US$11 million) will be provided to finance short courses, in particular, to improve the digital skills of employees, and 20 million ringgit (US$4.5 million) will be allocated to fund short courses for employees in the manufacturing sector.

  • Agrofood SME Loans & E-commerce expansion

    BNM has allocated a loan scheme for SMEs involved in the food production industry totaling 1 billion ringgit (US$226 million).

    The loan scheme is available for a period of eight years at 3.75 percent interest; an eligible SME will able to receive 5 million ringgit (US$1.1 million).

    In addition, the government will allocate 40 million ringgit (US$9 million) to help SMEs in the agriculture sector. This fund will be used to enable SMEs to sell their products on e-commerce platforms and therefore to a larger pool of consumers.

  • Funding for local start-ups
    Some 500 million ringgit (US$113 million) will be available for early stage and growth stage Malaysian companies. This fund will be co-funded by the government and the private sector.
  • SME digitalization and automation loans

    A total of 300 million ringgit (US$68 million) in loans has been prepared for SMEs looking to digitalize or automate their business. The financing can be used to help purchase hardware, software, and other IT solutions and services, in addition to equipment and machinery.

    Eligible SMEs can receive up to 3 million ringgit (US$679,000) with the tenure offered up until 10 years.

Grants & Supports available in Indonesia
  • Reduction of Corporate Income Tax, relaxation of value-added tax(VAT) refunds, deferral on import tax payments (6mths after Mar2020)

    The government will reduce corporate income tax (CIT) by 30 percent, relax value-added tax (VAT) refunds and a deferral on import tax payments for businesses in the 19 industries for the next six months. These are:

    Chemicals and chemical products; Electrical equipment; Motor vehicle, trailer, and semi-trailer manufacturers; The pharmaceutical industry, medicinal chemistry, traditional medicine; Basic metals; Transport equipment manufacturing; Paper and paper products; Food industry; Computers, electronic and optical goods; Machine industry; Textiles; Rubber and plastic goods; Furniture; Printing and recording industry; Non-metal mining; Beverage industry; Non-machinery metal industry; Finished material industry; and Leather goods and leather industry for footwear.

  • Income tax exemption for workers in manufacturing sector (6 mths after March 2020)

    There is a six-month income tax exemption for workers in the manufacturing sector. Only workers with an annual income below 200 million rupiah (US$13,000) are eligible for this incentive.

  • Ease of SMEs loan restructuring

    The rules governing loan restructuring for SMEs will be eased allowing local banks to restructure loans regardless of credit ceiling limits. Additionally, SMEs are eligible for loans of up to 10 billion rupiah (US$655,000) if they have a good credit history and have the capacity to pay back the loan.

Grants & Supports available in Vietnam
  • Delaying of tax payments(5 months)

    The government is considering delaying the tax payment deadline by five months for businesses impacted by COVID-19. Businesses in agriculture, textiles, footwear, automotive, aviation, electronics, food processing, and tourism sectors, among many others. Additionally, delays for income taxes and value-added taxes during this period.

    The government is also planning to delay land-use fees until October 31, 2020. This is expected to cost VND4.5 trillion (US$194 million).

  • Bank Loans

    Vietnamese bank HDBank has cut transaction fees for domestic payments by 50 percent and has offered low-interest loans. The bank has also cut fees for issuing letters of guarantee for businesses that supply medical equipment and pharmaceutical products.

    Additionally, another local bank, ABBank provided a loan support package worth VND4 trillion (US$172 million) for businesses impacted by the virus outbreak. While Kienlongbank has cut its interest rates by three percentage points to assist farmers, in particular those growing jackfruits, watermelons, mangos, rambutan, and dragon fruits between February to April 2020.