KUALA LUMPUR, 17 JUNE 2019 – Regional venture capital firm Gobi Partners has announced today that it has partnered with MAVCAP and the Sunway Group to launch their latest early-stage fund, Malaysia SuperSeed Fund II (“SuperSeed Fund II”). The Fund has a size of US$10 M, and will be focused on financing Seed to Pre-Series A startups in Malaysia.
This fund will build off the success of the ASEAN SuperSeed Fund, which was launched in late 2016. The previous fund had invested in several promising startups, such as Carsome, ASEAN’s largest C2B car platform; Jirnexu, a FinTech platform with presence in Malaysia and Indonesia; AVANA, a social commerce platform, and ZOOM, an on-demand delivery specialist. Since Gobi’s investment in them, these startups have made a significant amount of progress: Carsome experienced 17x growth in the number of transactions since Gobi first invested in 2016; Jirnexu has gained recognition as being the most funded startup in Malaysia; AVANA’s number of sellers on their platform grew 8x, from Q3 2016 to Q4 2018; and ZOOM’s number of transactions have increased by 21x, from Q1 2018 to Q1 of 2019. Of the 21 companies funded, more than half raised up-rounds in the past two years.
For Superseed Fund II, Gobi is aiming to vet startups in several key verticals that are trending in the Malaysian entrepreneurial scene, such as AI, Big Data, Cloud services, e-Commerce, FinTech, Internet of Things (IoT), marketplaces, the circular economy as well as TaqwaTech, a vertical which targets innovative startups offering products and services that serve Muslim consumers, businesses or communities all around the world. The firm is targeting 25-30 investments, and the median ticket size will be around US$250 K.
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On the launch of SuperSeed Fund II, Shahril Anas, acting-CEO of Gobi’s existing Limited Partner, MAVCAP, said, “MAVCAP is excited to be partnering again with Gobi Partners and with the energetic new boys on the block, Sunway Group. We are optimistic of the Malaysian startup scene and are looking forward to partner with innovative companies with groundbreaking technologies starting out from Malaysia. Entrepreneurs should be given the push up to go regional and global and MAVCAP is happy to play this role.”
Established in 1974, Sunway Group is one of Malaysia’s leading diversified conglomerates with 12 key business divisions including real estate, construction, malls, education and healthcare. Their partnership with Gobi via SuperSeed Fund II marks their continued commitment towards digital innovation and aligns with their Sustainable Development Goals of building innovative and sustainable cities as well as quality education.
Evan Cheah, Executive Vice President, Presidents Office of Sunway Group said, “Sunway’s strength is in ecosystem building and we are confident our collaboration with the highly successful Gobi Partners, Gobi’s network partners MAVCAP and Alibaba eFounders, together with Sunway iLabs will contribute positively to the Malaysia’s digital economy. Startups will have a rich testbed within our increasingly smarter Sunway city and leverage the vast resources of our group and Sunway iLabs.”
Thomas G. Tsao, Chairman and Founding Partner of Gobi, concurred with the statements made by MAVCAP and Sunway, saying, “Gobi sees the full potential of Malaysian startups, and we are excited to be able to provide them with another avenue for funding their ideas. Malaysia is one of the best entrepreneurial ecosystems in Asia, and we are happy to be recognized as one of the leading foreign investment firms helping to build out the local startup environment. We have now been in the ASEAN region for almost 10 years, and in Malaysia for four, and are looking forward to meeting the potential companies that could become our portfolio for SuperSeed Fund II.”
Gobi has been working closely with Alibaba on supporting the entrepreneurship community in Southeast Asia through the eFounders Fellowship Program, as well as their accelerator partner, Sunway iLabs Accelerator.
The eFounders Fellowship is a joint initiative by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Alibaba Business School. The aim of the Fellowship is to empower ecosystem building entrepreneurs from developing countries to create more inclusive and sustainable economies in their respective markets by leveraging digital technology.The Fellowship Program will provide select portfolio companies with first-hand exposure to e-commerce and digital innovations, access to perspectives from business leaders across Alibaba and China, as well as an opportunity to connect with like-minded leading entrepreneurs from the ASEAN region. Sunway iLabs in turn will be opening doors to collaborative opportunities between the startups and Sunway’s group of companies, including the talent pool of about 30,000 students under the Sunway Education Group. iLabs also provides connections to innovation hotbeds around top academic institutions that Sunway University has strong partnerships with, such as Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, and UC Berkeley. It recently received an award by the MVCA for having established a complete innovation ecosystem in Sunway City.
About Gobi Partners
Gobi Partners is one of the first venture capital firms with a regional presence across China, Hong Kong, and ASEAN with over US$1.1 billion in assets under management (AUM). The firm, headquartered in Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur, supports entrepreneurs from the early to growth stages and focuses on emerging and underserved markets.
Founded in 2002, Gobi has raised 12 funds to date, invested in over 250 startups, and has grown to nine offices across Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Shanghai, Singapore and internships (www.reddit.com) Tokyo. For more information, please visit www.gobivc.com
About Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad (MAVCAP)
Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad (MAVCAP) was established in 2001. Formed to realise the Government’s mission to support Malaysian-based information, communications and technology (ICT) companies as well as the growth of the venture capital (VC) industry, today MAVCAP is the country’s largest VC company with investments in the ICT sector and other high-growth industries. MAVCAP is a company owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated. For more information, please visit http://www.mavcap.com/
About Sunway Group
Established in 1974, Sunway Group is one of Malaysia’s leading conglomerates with core interests in real estate, construction, education and healthcare, with a unique build-own-operate business model. Our 16,000-strong team across 50 locations worldwide is committed to transformative growth and sustainable progress through our 12 business divisions including real estate, construction, retail, hospitality, leisure, healthcare, education, trading and manufacturing, building materials and Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).
We are committed to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and continue to align our business strategies towards minimising environmental impact, and advancing economic and social progress.