Gobi plans micro funds for Thailand, Philippines; announces new appointments

Shannon Kalayanamitr. Photo: Gobi Partners

Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur-based venture capital firm Gobi Partners is planning to roll out micro funds for Thailand and the Philippines. It also announced new executive appointments, including for the new Thai micro fund, on Thursday.

Industry executives aware of the development say both the Philippine and Thai seed funds will be between $5 million to $10 million and will look at an average deal size of $250,000 to $750,000.

Both Philippines and Thailand are far behind other countries in the region, especially Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia, in terms of venture capital and the number of startups that have bagged tens of millions of dollars in funding. Besides, VCs that largely target these two countries are largely based in Singapore and deploy capital from their regional funds, when investing in Philippine or Thai startups.

Khairul Khairi. Photo: Gobi Partners

Gobi has appointed Shannon Kalayanamitr as its venture partner for the upcoming Thailand micro fund, the venture capital firm in its announcement on Thursday.

Shannon co-founded Orami, previously known as Moxy, a women-focused e-commerce platform. She held the role of its chief marketing officer from 2013 to 2017. She is currently an advisor to the Thai government’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society as well as the Digital Economic Promotion Agency on its Thailand 4.0 Strategy with a focus on technology, Internet of Things (IoT) and startup execution plans.

On the Malaysian front, Khairul Khairi has been named as Gobi’s new partner for the Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund. He was previously a senior vice president in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IxE) and Co-Investment Strategy in Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd.

Dan Chong. Photo: Gobi Partners

Khairul has experience in investment banking and private equity, having worked with regional lenders.

The Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund had its first close last August and has a target corpus of $200 million. Other Gobi vehicles include Gobi MAVCAP-ASEAN Superseed Fund, a partnership with Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd, and Gobi Fund III.

Gobi has also roped in Dan Chong, a former vice president of corporate development at Singapore’s MediaCorp, as COO. He will be overseeing Gobi’s operations and help scale the firm’s infrastructure in the region.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.