Gobi-Core Philippine Fund inches to 7 startups funded by 2021 with inclusion of livestream platform Kumu

  • Kumu is third firm invested by the US$10mil Philippine Fund
  • Hopes to invest in 4 more startups in emerging industries like foodtech, gaming, logistics

Gobi-Core Philippine Fund inches to 7 startups funded by 2021 with inclusion of livestream platform Kumu

Asian venture capital (VC) firm Gobi Partners and Philippines VC firm Core Capital are getting closer to their goal of investing in seven local startups by 2021. They have recently funded live streaming platform Kumu in their Gobi-Core Philippine Fund portfolio.

The fund participated in Kumu's Series A funding, which the latter closed early this year. Kumu is the third firm invested in by the US$10 million (RM41.3 million) fund since its launch in 2018. 

Kumu has become the fastest-rising Philippine startup in the last two years as it continuously dominates the app downloads both on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store (Philippines). The app's user base has more than doubled since the start of the year, surpassing the five-million mark by October.

By the end of 2020, the startup hopes to have more than 600 content creators on its platform earning double the minimum wage in the Philippines – about 20x more than what the platform had at the start of the year. 

Kumu CEO and cofounder Roland Ros says: "It is truly exciting to become one of the first startups to become part of the Philippine Fund, and be joined by partners who share the same vision as I do –that the Philippines can provide the right support for local startups to excel. And with this investment, our team can expand to support the growing engagement in the platform."

"We are thrilled to have Kumu as part of our portfolio as it showcases that the Filipino talent, with the right platform and support, can be a sustainable career venture," comments Core Capital cofounder Carlo Delantar.

Adding to that, Core Capital cofounder Jason Gaisano says: "The startup exudes the vision we have for the Philippine startup community – that our local players can be movers of the economy with innovative and efficient solutions.”

The US$10 million Philippine Fund is the fruit of a collaboration between Gobi Ventures and Core Capital. Established in 2018, the Philippine Fund marks the first foray of Gobi Ventures in the country in its almost two-decade history in the industry.

Kumu joins education platform Edukasyon.ph and insurtech startup MariaHealth as part of the Philippine fund portfolio. Like Kumu, the two startups have enjoyed accelerated growth during the pandemic, as their products have become relevant and efficient tools for the market.

Educational platform Edukasyon.ph, for one, has enjoyed three-digit growth in user signups. The platform has also introduced Quests, a points and rewards system that aims to gamify learning for students of all ages.

Meanwhile, insurance marketplace MariaHealth has seen a jump in product inquiries and partner businesses because the pandemic highlighted the importance of health insurance for individuals and employees. In 2019, MariaHealth also became the first licensed online insurance aggregator as regulated by the Insurance Commission.

"The early and encouraging success of our first batch of investments shows there is potential for Filipino startups to be big players in their respective industries," says Core Capital co-founder Ken Ngo.

"I believe, as we continue to work closely together, we can make a positive impact on our startup ecosystem and on our economy for many years to come."

The Philippine Fund hopes to invest in four more startups in other emerging industries like food technology, gaming, logistics, and distribution before ending its run by 2021.


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