Gobi Partners says $200m Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund is closed

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Venture capital firm Gobi Partners closed its 2017-vintage Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund in December 2019 after meeting its $200 million target, the firm told DealStreetAsia this week.

Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur-headquartered Gobi Partners had announced the fund’s first close at $50 million in August 2017. The first close allows fund managers to start investing from a small portion of the fund as they raise the remainder of the corpus.

Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund, named after the tallest known tree in the tropical rain forest, was launched with a focus on investments in cloud services, e-commerce, fintech and Muslim-focused tech (also known as Taqwatech). The VC firm said at the time it planned to build a portfolio of 15 companies or more, with investment ticket sizes ranging from $5 million to $20 million per transaction.

In October 2017, Gobi Partners said it expected to hold the fund’s second close at $100 million by the end of that year. It did not announce any fundraising milestones for the vehicle after the first close.

The VC firm did not comment on queries on the considerable time it took to close the vehicle. VC funds in Southeast Asia typically take anywhere between less than a year and two years – the latter indicates hiccups in fundraising – to secure their targeted capital commitments.

In comparison, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India closed its third fund in October 2017 at $210 million. It had held the first close for the vehicle, which was launched with a $150 million target, in November 2016.

The limited partners (LPs) backing Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund’s first close had included Malaysia Venture Capital Management BHD (MAVCAP), Korean home shopping company GS Shop and Indonesia-based investment firm CKM. Other investors included German electronics firm Bosch, US tech giant Cisco and consumer goods firm Unilever.

In early 2019, Gobi had said the Meranti fund would back its Gobi Core Philippine Fund, a $10 million joint venture between Gobi and Core Capital, and its $10-million micro-fund for Indonesia called the Gobi-Agung Fund.

Earlier this week, Singapore-listed Synagie entered a deal to sell its e-commerce and logistics businesses to Synagistics, a consortium led by Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund, for S$61.7 million ($44.9 million).

Gobi Partners has more than $1.1 billion in assets under management.

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.