Shell Malaysia buying 50% stake in MoF-owned VC investee

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 3): Shell Malaysia Trading Sdn Bhd is acquiring a 50% stake in Pixelbyte Sdn Bhd, which operates the ParkEasy car park and electric vehicle (EV) charging slot reservation app under an investment, giving Shell Malaysia an immediate path to an established parking and e-mobility platform in Southeast Asia.

“This investment will be Shell’s first in a local Malaysian tech start-up,” Shell Malaysia said in a statement on Friday (June 3). Shell Malaysia, however, did not specify how much money it is paying for the 50% stake in Pixelbyte.

Pixelbyte is an investee of Ministry of Finance (MoF)-owned venture capitalist (VC) Kumpulan Modal Perdana Sdn Bhd, according to Modal Perdana’s website.

“Wholly-owned by the MoF and under the purview of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), we are a technology VC that combs the country for that special breed of entrepreneurs who have exceptional ideas, market disrupters and solving pain points,” Modal Perdana said.

Shell Malaysia said the proposed acquisition of a 50% shareholding in Pixelbyte is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2022.

According to Shell Malaysia, ParkEasy will continue to operate under its existing management and name upon completion of the transaction.

“Pixelbyte was co-founded by [its chief executive officer] Warren Chan, [besides] Eric Tan and Winnie Mah in 2014.

“Over the last three years, ParkEasy has grown its business from a parking reservation app to include other offerings such as sales of its proprietary smart-parking solutions and EV charging bay management systems,” Shell Malaysia said.

Shell Malaysia general manager for mobility Seow Lee Ming said in the statement that decarbonising mobility and enabling delivery of better services to the company’s customers through digital innovation are core to Shell Malaysia’s business strategy.

“We intend to make investments that will help us serve our customers better through the energy transition and pressures of modern living.

“We value this opportunity to partner with a young Malaysian start-up, and believe our combined strength will help us develop superior mobility products and services for our customers,” Seow said.

Meanwhile, Chan said ParkEasy continually looks for “new and easier ways for people to enjoy an upgraded parking experience”.

According to Shell Malaysia’s statement, ParkEasy has managed over 150,000 car park reservations to date.

“In line with the global adoption of EV, many of ParkEasy’s bays are now also equipped with EV chargers,” Shell Malaysia said.

Besides Modal Perdana, early investors in Pixelbyte include Cradle Fund and 1337 Ventures, according to Shell Malaysia.

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