Philippines-based IP E-Game Ventures’ subsidiary, New Wave, has signed an initial documentation with Malaysia’s boutique investment firm Emissary Capital to set up a $50 million fund for ASEAN startups.
The fund aims to build stronger collaboration between startups in the region, focusing on the Malaysian and Philippine market, according to a joint statement by IP E-Game Ventures and Emissary Capital on Tuesday.
Subject to conditions, New Wave will invest up to $7.5 million as a limited partner. The two firms will form a joint venture to serve as general partners to manage the fund’s investment decisions.
“We are looking to strengthen the corridor between Malaysia and the Philippines, as well as with the rest of Southeast Asia. Technology businesses today must have a regional outlook and entrepreneurs must demonstrate the ability to scale this way,” New Wave director Enrique Gonzalez said. “Our fund is looking to invest in Southeast Asia’s growth companies led by founders that have proved resilience and success.”
With both countries harnessing the digital economy to hasten COVID-19 recovery, the investment firms are maintaining a bullish outlook on Malaysia and the Philippines as growth hubs, especially for tech-based startups.
Kuala Lumpur and Manila are seen to be among the top emerging startup ecosystems in the world, ranking 11th and 31st respectively, based on the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2020. Despite the pandemic’s disruptions, fintech is a common sub-sector strength identified in the report by both markets, evidenced by the proliferation of e-wallets and digital payments-focused business models.
Other strong sub-sectors noted are Malaysia’s esports thrust and the Philippines’ high e-commerce demand, according to the statement.
IP E-Game Ventures was incorporated in 2005, to engage primarily in the business of interactive gaming and content distribution to the local, regional, and global market.
New wave is a wholly-owned investment company of IP-e game Ventures. New wave manages over $40 million assets including real estate holdings in Southeast Asia. New Wave is led by Enrique Gonzalez, who is also a partner at the SB Kaikaku Fund, and IP Ventures.
Malaysia-based Emissary Capital is a boutique investment firm focusing on Asean. Its team includes co-working space Common Ground’s founders Juhn Teo and Erman Akinci, according to its website. Another team member is Khalil Ibrahim, the managing director and controlling shareholder of SISMA, a privately-held diversified business entity in Malaysia. He is also currently a director at iCARASIA, which operates digital car portals in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.