Gobi Partners marks Philippine foray with two deals from joint fund

The Gobi Core Philippine Fund, a $10 million joint venture between Gobi Partners and Core Capital, has announced the completion of its first two deals, which sees it investing in startups in the local health and education sector.

The undisclosed amount of seed funding for MariaHealth and Edukasyon.ph marks Gobi’s first investments in the Philippine market, the Malaysia-based VC said in an official statement.

Founded in 2016, MariaHealth claims to be the first online health marketplace in the country. The startup works to enable top health service providers to provide new and different products and services in a country where health insurance has become an expensive critical problem.

Edukasyon, meanwhile, is an online platform for Gen-Z (ages 13-23) youth in the Philippines. It aims to empower students to make better informed choices for their education, career and life by engaging with them across their three key identities – as students, consumers and future employees – in partnership with the institutions within the ecosystem surrounding the youth – schools, foundations and corporations.

Core Capital Partner Jason Gaisano says he believes the investments in MariaHealth and Edukasyon.ph will bring outside interest to the Philippine startup ecosystem – in line with GobiCore’s mission to expose Philippine-based startups to more global markets.

“We will continue to provide exposure and networking for the next wave of companies, and are eager to make the next batch of investments through this Fund.”

For Manila-based Core Capital, the GobiCore fund counts as its first fund, which it co-manages with Gobi Partners.

Launched in October 2018, the fund seeks to support seed-stage and pre-Series A startups in the Philippines with an initial focus on B2B e-commerce, platform-as-a-service (PaaS), health tech and logistic companies. Going forward, the fund plans to expand into other sectors including travel, entertainment and retail tech.

The launch of the fund will give Philippine-based startups access to the extensive network of Gobi, which is one of the first venture capital firms with a regional presence across China, Hong Kong, and ASEAN with over $1.1 billion in assets under management (AUM).

For Gobi, the micro-fund marks its entry in the Philippines, a country lagging behind its regional counterparts when it comes to availability of VC funds.

“With a population of 120 million, the Philippines is the second largest country in ASEAN, but has been overlooked by venture capitalists. We think that’s about to change, and we’re thrilled that we can get in on the ground floor of the digital transformation that is sweeping across the Philippines.”

Very similar to its move in the Philippines, Gobi has also launched a $10-million micro-fund for Indonesia called the Gobi-Agung Fund.

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 has said.

Also Read:

Gobi Partners exploring Pakistan-focused fund, says founding partner Tsao

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

Go-Jek acquires stake in Philippines blockchain mobile wallet Coins.ph

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.