Gobi Partners launches $10m early-stage fund for Indonesia investments

Gobi's Kay Mok Ku
Kay Mok Ku, Managing Partner, Gobi Partners at Asia PE-VC Summit 2018 organised by DEALSTREETASIA

Following the announcement of its Philippine fund last week, Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur-based venture capital firm Gobi Partners on Tuesday announced a $10-million fund to invest in tech companies in Indonesia.

In an official announcement, the firm said the Gobi-Agung Fund will target early-stage startups in Southeast Asia’s largest market and invest up to $1 million per deal.

In charge of the fund is newly-appointed venture partner Arya Masagung, who joined Gobi earlier this year to oversee its early-stage investment strategy in Southeast Asia, with a primary focus on Indonesia.

“Given Gobi’s experience as a regional player, we are in a unique position to be a bridge for startups in the region. By investing in both inbound and outbound companies, we will be able to utilize our regional ecosystem to its utmost potential in creating value for these companies,” said Masagung, who previously held executive positions at Silicon Valley transportation startup Ebby and hyperlocal marketplace Verlocal.

The Agung Fund has already made its first investment in Indonesia. It recently backed freelancing platform Fastwork that claims to be one of the largest professional freelancing platforms in Southeast Asia by the number of users and projects completed.

Gobi’s Indonesia fund will be managed in parallel with its $10-million early-stage Philippine fund launched last week in partnership with local VC firm Core Capital.

Both investment vehicles will serve as discovery funds for the firm and will be backed up by Gobi’s Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund, the firm said.

“We can now engage earlier with entrepreneurs and build deeper relationships in the local venture ecosystems. At the same time, we can bring further follow-on funding and Gobi’s broader resources and networks. Most importantly, we can share some of the lessons that we have learned,” said Kay Mok Ku, Gobi’s Managing Partner for ASEAN.

Thailand could be the next country to get its own dedicated Gobi fund. In June, DEALSTREETASIA had reported that Gobi planned to roll out micro funds for Thailand and the Philippines, targeting an average deal size of $250,000 to $750,000.

The firm has announced the appointment of Shannon Kalayanamitr, co-founder of women-focused e-commerce platform Orami, as its venture partner for the upcoming Thailand micro fund.

Kalayanamitr is one of a few key hires made by Gobi recently. In Malaysia, Gobi has appointed Khairul Khairi, a former senior vice president at sovereign wealth fund Khazanah, as partner for its Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund.

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.

The Agung Fund adds to the list of new funds focusing on Southeast Asia’s largest market. Established firms that have recently raised new funds include Kejora Ventures, which raised an undisclosed amount for its second fund, and Alpha JWC, which is understood to be raising a $100-million second fund.

Meanwhile, newcomers in the Indonesian VC space include Kolibra Capital, Agaeti Venture Capital, which has closed a $10-million fund, and Latitude Venture Partners, the VC arm of conglomerate Sinar Mas with a $200-million corpus.

Also Read:

Indonesia’s GoWork raises $13.8m in Series A co-led by Gobi Partners, Paradise Group

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

Tokopedia co-founder launches Indonesia’s newest venture capital firm