Gobi Partners, Core Capital to launch $10m Philippine startup fund

Core Capital Gobi Partners
Core Capital co-founder Carlo Delantar

Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur-based venture capital firm Gobi Partners has teamed up with Core Capital, a new Philippine-based VC firm, to launch a $10-million fund that seeks to support seed-stage and pre-Series A startups in the Philippines.

DEALSTREETASIA first reported in June on Gobi’s plan to roll out micro funds for Thailand and the Philippines, targetting an average deal size of $250,000 to $750,000.

In a statement, Gobi said the Gobi-Core Philippine Fund will be co-managed by Core Capital founded by Carlo Delantar, Jason Gaisano, and its Managing Partner Ken Ngo.

“The fund’s initial focus is on B2B e-commerce, platform-as-a-service (PaaS), health tech and logistic companies, and plans to expand into other sectors including travel, entertainment and retail tech in the future,” Gobi announced.

The launch of the micro-fund is a welcome development in the Philippines, which is 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 target the Philippines are largely based in Singapore and deploy capital from their regional funds, when investing in Philippine startups.

For Gobi, which has 16 years of investment experience, the micro-fund marks its entry in the Philippines. The launch of the fund also underscores Core and Gobi’s belief in “favorable timing, the potential of the country’s economy and the growing purchasing power of its young population”.

“We are very excited to make our first foray into the country together with Core Capital. We’ve been consistently amazed by the level of entrepreneurial talent in the Philippines. The same growth patterns that occurred in China and Indonesia are now happening in the Philippines,” said Gobi Partners’ founding partner Thomas G. Tsao.

The launch of the fund will give Philippine-based startups access Gobi’s regional platform, which should help them scale across China and other Southeast Asian countries, according to an announcement.

“We believe in the Philippines, and at the same time, we also understand that there’s still so much that we can learn from other countries and VCs. With this partnership with Gobi, we are confident that we can strategically connect local and regional stakeholders,” Core Capital Managing Partner Ken Ngo said.

The new fund comes as the Philippines posted a lackluster venture capital activity in 2017. According to data compiled by DEALSTREETASIA, only 10 VC deals were reported as of the end of November 2017, compared to 21 deals in the previous year.

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