PARTNERS: Thomas G. Tsao, Co-Founding & Managing Partner, Gobi Partners, and Jamaludin Bujang, Chief Executive Officer, MAVCAP at the launch of the Gobi MAVCAP ASEAN SuperSeed Fund
Malaysia’s venture capital firm, Malaysia Capital Management Bhd (MAVCAP), is collaborating with Gobi Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm, to develop and offer a RM60 million venture fund known as the Gobi MAVCAP SuperSeed Fund. The newly-announced fund is dedicated to financing seed-stage companies across Southeast Asia.
The SuperSeed Fund will identify and invest in a new generation of Southeast Asian startups. It will focus on ASEAN-based Internet and mobile technology startups in majr vertical sectors, including but not limyed to, advertiing, big data, cloud computing, connected devices, content and digial media, e-commerce, financial tech, Internet of Things (IoT), Muslim innovation and online tourism.
The SuperSeed Fund will have an average deal size of RM2 million and is expected to invest in 25 to 35 startups over the next three years. The fund’s geographic focus will be on startups in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore markets, while taking an opportunistic approach to other markets within the region.
The Fund has already approved investments into 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.
The Fund is to be managed out of Gobi’s Kuala Lumpur office, which was established in August 2015. Thomas G. Tsao, Co-Founding and Managing Partner of Gobi Partners, Kay-Mok Ku, Gobi’s Singapore-based Partner, and Jamaludin Bujang, Chief Executive Officer of MAVCAP, will serve on SuperSeed’s Investment Committee.
Jamaludin commented: “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.”
“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,” added Tsao.
Gobi is one of China’s first venture capital firms to expand into ASEAN with the establishment of a Singaporean office in 2010.
“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 ASEAN fund, 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 Ltd (SGX:5UZ) and CIB (acquired by AsiaSoft – TB:AS), among others. The eight portfolio companies in Gobi ASEAN collectively generated US$150 million in revenues in 2015 and employed over 1,300 people.