Fatima Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of Fatima Group, a Pakistani conglomerate with businesses in fertilizer, textile, sugar, trading, mining and energy sectors. The Pakistani CVC has invested in five local startups and has partnered with Lahore University of Management Sciences to set up a tech incubation centre in Lahore.
According to a statement, the new fund will target seed to Series A businesses in travel, fintech, healthcare, education, e-commerce, consumer tech, industrial internet and Taqwatech, or technology that serves Muslim consumers, businesses and communities.
Speaking on the launch of the Fund, Gobi’s Managing Director Jamaludin Bujang said: “(Pakistan) is a nation that has all of the right ingredients to be one of the fastest-growing digital markets – it has a sizeable and young population, as well as a growing middle class, not to mention high Internet penetration, with about one million users going online every month. The country also has a high number of unbanked citizens which means that there is a lot of potential for FinTech startups in Pakistan.”
Kuala Lumpur-based, Gobi Partners had said in November last year that it was exploring a Pakistan fund after its investment in online travel startup Sastaticket.pk. The deal was its first investment in Pakistan, making it the first Chinese VC to invest in the country.
In an earlier interview with DEALSTREETASIA, Thomas Tsao, founding partner of Gobi Partners, said: “Where is there a market that is bigger than 1.4 billion Chinese people? It’s 1.8 billion Muslims.”
Apart from this Pakistan-focused fund, Gobi Partners also has two other market-focused funds – one for the Philippines and one for Indonesia. Both are $10-million funds focusing on early-stage companies, covering sectors such as e-commerce, travel, logistics and healthtech.
Gobi has over $1 billion of assets under management and has previously partnered with MAVCAP to invest in over 30 Malaysian startups.