Gobi Partners raises $10m for Malaysia-focused early-stage fund

Thomas Tsao, Gobi Partners co-founder.

Pan-Asian venture capital firm Gobi Partners has announced the close of its latest early-stage, tech-focused venture fund at $10 million.

The Malaysia-focused fund, Gobi SuperSeed II (Gobi SSII), received commitments from Allianz Malaysia, Malaysia Venture Capital Management (MAVCAP) and Sunway Group, according to the announcement.

Gobi SSII Fund targets seed-to-Series A technology-enabled startups in Malaysia that operate in the AI, big data, cloud, e-commerce, fintech, Internet of Things and Halal-economy-focused segments.

Launched in late 2020, the fund has already invested in four Malaysian startups: Sunway Innovation Labs, technology news platform TechNode, rental platform SpeedHome and insurance marketplace PolicyStreet.

Gobi, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, targets investing in up to 25 portfolio companies through the Gobi SSII Fund. It has so far raised 15 funds with $1.5 billion in assets under management.

The company has a portfolio of 320 startups, including nine unicorns, and has expanded to 15 locations across key markets in Bangkok, Beijing, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Lahore, Manila, Riyadh, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore and Surabaya.

In June, Gobi Partners announced teaming up with social finance platform operator Ethis Group to launch a $20-million fund that will invest in Shariah-compliant startups. The Shariah-compliant seed fund is targeted to make the first close by the end of this year. It marks Ethis Group’s first foray into the VC space and Gobi’s first fully Shariah-compliant fund.

According to the announcement, the fund will seek to capture the growth of startups in the Halal economy, where startups adhere to Shariah law and their products are built to serve a large Muslim community.

Gobi also partnered with Ozora Yatrapaktaja to launch a $10-million seed fund for women founders in Indonesia earlier this year. Dubbed the Ratu Nusa Fund, the fund focuses on backing women-led startups in seed to pre-Series A rounds that operate in the e-commerce, social commerce, future of work and education, proptech and fintech sectors.

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