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Malaysia-based Qarbotech clinches first place in the EQT Impact Challenge

Samantha Chiew and Khairani Afifi Noordin
Samantha Chiew and Khairani Afifi Noordin • 2 min read
Malaysia-based Qarbotech clinches first place in the EQT Impact Challenge
Cultivated protein company ImpacFat won second place, while “waste-to-worth” carbon fibre aerogel company EcoWorth won third. Photo: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore
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Malaysia-based Qarbotech — which has developed the first-of-its-kind photosynthesis enhancer — has won first place in the inaugural EQT Impact Challenge 2023 Southeast Asia edition.

Qarbotech will receive EUR100,000 investment from the EQT Foundation, along with 300 consultancy hours from Ernst & Young to improve its strategy and business development as well as 15 hours of services from global law firm DLA Piper.  

The company’s patented flagship product QarboGrow helps increase plant growth and shorten crop cycles, leading to a higher process rate of carbon dioxide and release of oxygen. This sped-up process helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions in cities and improve air quality. 

Qarbotech co-founder and CEO Chor Chee Hoe says the company is very honoured to receive the acknowledgement from the panel of juries. “With this additional amount of investment, we can further invest into our intellectual property strategy and upskilling so that we are able to fulfil our distributors’ demand,'' he adds.

EQT Foundation CEO Cilia Indahl says the juries were impressed with Qarbotech’s groundbreaking technology, which is able to boost agricultural productivity and improve agricultural yields by up to 60%.

“In addition, we can see how passionate the founder is as well as the capabilities of the team to deliver this technology. Understanding how challenging it can be, we want to provide them with the best support to make it happen,” says Indahl. 

See also: Loyalty platform startup Heymax.ai raises US$2.6 mil in seed funding led by January Capital

Cultivated fat company ImpacFat won second place, while “waste-to-worth” carbon fibre aerogel company EcoWorth won third place. The other two finalists are mixed paper waste management and upcycling company Materials in Works and cultivated seafood company Umami Bioworks. 

EQT Asia chairperson Jean Salata expresses genuine admiration for the presentations showcased at the finale, underscoring the profound passion exhibited by the founders toward their enterprises as well as their commitment to creating impact.

“What we are doing with the EQT Foundation is to create a forum to bring out very interesting new ideas at the early stages of development. I think it is filling a need and creating an opportunity for entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia. I am looking forward to seeing how these businesses develop, and to do more of this going forward,” he adds.

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