Gobi Partners announces first closing of Meranti Asean Growth Fund
By Digital News Asia August 17, 2017
- Initial limited partners are Mavcap, GS Shop and PT Mahanusa Capital
- To invest in 15 or more companies with a ticket of US$5 million to US$20 million per investment
CHINA-Asean venture capital firm, Gobi Partners, has announced a US$50 million (RM214.74 million) first closing of the Meranti Asean Growth Fund with a target size of US$200 million. (US$1 = RM4.3)
The fund will be aimed at investing into Series B and C rounds of Southeast Asian innovation and tech-related (IT) companies, with a particular focus on Cloud services, e-commerce, fintech (specifically targeting the unbanked market and the next billion consumers) as well as TaqwaTech (high tech companies that serve and empower Muslim communities).
Initial limited partners
The three initial limited partners that have chosen to invest into the fund were also announced at the press conference: Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd (Mavcap); GS Shop; and PT Mahanusa Capital.
This will be Mavcap’s third collaboration with Gobi. It is Malaysia’s biggest venture capital firm and a company owned by the Minister of Finance Inc. A leading financial institution in Malaysia, Mavcap began its partnership with Gobi in 2015, and has helped the firm create numerous strategic relationships with relevant conglomerates and companies in Asean.
“We are delighted to be working with Mavcap again on the Meranti Asean Growth Fund, and I am confident that this continuation of our working partnership will yield great results,” said Gobi co-founder Thomas G Tsao.
Mavcap CEO and Gobi senior advisor Jamaludin Bujang added, “Our decision to once again partner with Gobi for this new fund was backed by their 15-year track record, not to mention our own fruitful two-year working experience with them, which has produced a first exit this past June.
“This fund is also the biggest growth stage fund to come out of Malaysia at this point, and it is also one of the biggest in Asean. Mavcap is more than optimistic about the benefits to be gained by being a part of this fund.”
Korean company GS Shop, which is under the GS Group conglomerate, is Korea’s pioneer home shopping company and a leader in the home shopping and mobile commerce sectors. Their investment into the fund creates a strategic partnership for Gobi to connect North Asian companies (China, Korea, and Japan) with suitable Asean startups.
“We are happy to be participating in the Meranti Asean Growth Fund, as it brings about a host of opportunities for GS to invest into the booming Southeast Asian startup scene, both for ourselves, and our network,” said GS Shop Future Strategy Division executive vice president Park Younghoon.
Joining Mavcap and GS Shop is Indonesian-based investment firm Mahanusa. Daniel Budiman, founding partner of Mahanusa said, “We are committed to investing in the digital sector, and excited to be involved with Gobi in the Meranti Asean Growth Fund.” Budiman was represented at the event by Mahanusa partner Renee Tang.
First investment into Sale Stock
The fund also announced its first investment into e-commerce startup, Sale Stock – Indonesia’s biggest fashion vertical. Gobi is co-leading the company’s Series B+ round of funding. Other investors in the US$27 million round include Alpha JWC Ventures, Convergence Ventures, KIP, MNC, and SMDV.
“This new capital injection will be used to further strengthen our position as the market leader in Indonesia and to be profitable in the near term,” said Sale Stock co-founder Lingga Madu.
He added that Sale Stock, “is as much a tech company as we are a fashion company. We invited the best and brightest to join us from companies such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Palantir, and these individuals are using tech and big data to help our company make the better things in life more affordable and accessible to the next billion consumers.”
Gobi’s team going forward
Gobi also took the opportunity to introduce two new members to their Asean team: Khairul Khairi, who has many years of experience in investment companies including a sovereign fund, venture capital fund and investment banks, and Justin Park, former CEO of Smilegate Southeast Asia, the developer of CrossFire, which was a top selling game title in China published by Tencent. Both individuals bring decades of investment experience and strategic relationships to Gobi.
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