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.