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.