The startup scene in Malaysia is getting vibrant with the growing funding ecosystem that are becoming more sensitive to the nature of the industry. Moving in to the region and eventually globally, has always been the agenda for many startups and investors from day one. In view of this Gobi Partners an early-stage Asian venture capital firm, and Malaysia Venture Capital Management (MAVCAP), today announced the creation of a RM60 million (US$14.5 million) venture fund known as the Gobi MAVCAP ASEAN SuperSeed Fund, dedicated to financing seed-stage companies across Southeast Asia.
The SuperSeed Fund will identify and invest in a new generation of Southeast Asian startups focusing on ASEAN-based Internet and mobile technology startups in major vertical sectors, including, advertising, big data, cloud computing, connected devices, content and digital media, e-commerce, financial tech, Internet of Things (IOT), Muslim innovation and online tourism. With an average deal size of RM2 million the fund and is expected to invest in 25 to 35 startups over the next three years. Focus will be on startups in the Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore markets, while taking an opportunistic approach to other markets within the region. Approved investments include these five companies across Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, namely Enlinea Sdn Bhd, Off Peak Hub Sdn Bhd, Recomn Technologies Pte Ltd, Triip Pte Ltd and YToday Sdn Bhd.
Gobi will be managing the fund from its Kuala Lumpur office with specialist from both parties heading hyr investment committee.
Jamaludin Bujang, CEO of MAVCAP, commented: “We are proud to be the manager for this Fund, together with Gobi Partners. This is reflective of our successful partnership with Gobi, which we have been collaborating closely with over the past few years in managing a regional fund, investing in tech companies and connecting our portfolio companies to the world. With the SuperSeed Fund, we look forward to identifying, investing and growing promising local and regional tech companies, and help them grow to become regional and world champions. We believe this goal can be achieved with our combined, and in many cases complementary, strengths in networking, experience and determination to turn Malaysia into a regional hub for technology development and entrepreneurship.”
“We are incredibly excited to be working with MAVCAP on this new fund. Having such sophisticated investors as LPs is a tremendous endorsement for entrepreneurs in ASEAN. The same development trends that occurred in China and India are happening now in ASEAN but at a more accelerated pace. The combination of talent and ideas emerging out of SE Asia is simply amazing. Our job is to help ASEAN entrepreneurs connect with the larger regional venture ecosystem and prepare them to compete successfully on a global stage. We will leverage our expertise, business networks and strategic relationships to support them,” said Thomas G. Tsao, Managing Partner, Gobi Partners.
As one of China’s first venture capital firms to expand into ASEAN with the establishment of a Singaporean office in 2010, Gobi is a first mover in ASEAN, and we have built up valuable experience investing in the region. We believe that the ASEAN equivalents of BAT (Baidu / Alibaba / Tencent) will emerge in the not too distant future and contribute to the region’s growth and prosperity. We hope to identify and invest in these companies at an early stage, leverage our experience and guide them to success,” added Kay-Mok Ku, Partner, Gobi Partners.
The SuperSeed Fund is Gobi’s second ASEAN dedicated fund. Gobi’s first Gobi ASEAN, was established in 2010 with the backing of Singapore’s Media Development Authority and went on to invest in such companies as Mainspring (which operates the popular Bahasan news app, BaBe, and technology site, Jalan Tikus), DeClout and CIB (acquired by AsiaSoft), among others. The eight portfolio companies in Gobi ASEAN collectively generated US$150 million in revenues in 2015 and employed over 1,300 people.
MAVCAP has been in the VC scene for the last 15 years, with investments in nearly 150 companies in Malaysia and across the region. Many of these companies were divested at a profit through trade sale and IPOs. Notable investments are Aexio Software, acquired by Info Vista, a French mobile network company, as well as Tranglo, a payment remittance company which was acquired by Ekuinas – a Malaysian PE Firm. MAVCAP investee companies have included high-performing publicly listed companies such as CENSOF, Kellington Group, Fibon, and Aemelus.