Shanghai-based venture capital (VC) firm Gobi Partners has reached the first close of its new Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund at $50 million.
The VC firm aims to raise a total of $200 million for this growth fund, which will target Series B and C rounds and concentrate on cloud services, e-commerce, fintech and Muslim-focused tech (also known as Taqwatech). It will build a portfolio of 15 companies or more, with investment ticket sizes ranging from $5 million to $20 million per transaction.
The regional limited partners (LPs) who are backing the round as at the first close are Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad (MAVCAP), Korean home shopping company GS Shop, and Indonesia-based investment firm CKM.
Daniel Budiman, Founding Partner of CKM, said: “We are committed to investing in the digital sector, and excited to be involved with Gobi in the Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund.”
MAVCAP has partnered with Gobi since 2015, and the participation in this fund marks its third collaboration with the firm. Their last collaboration was in 2016 when they raised a MYR60 million ($14.5 million) seed-stage fund for SEA region.
“We are delighted to be working with MAVCAP again on the Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund, and I am confident that this continuation of our working partnership will yield great results,” said Thomas G. Tsao, co-founder, Gobi Partners.
In April, DEALSTREETASIA had reported that MAVCAP was planning a first close for two of its funds this year, the Meranti Fund and the Global Islamic Economy Fund. Their combined corpus is estimated at $450 million.
The involvement of MAVCAP and Indonesia’s CKM will grant Gobi the leverage and network to build its footprint in the disaggregated markets of Southeast Asia, particularly in Malaysia and Indonesia.
MAVCAP is among the oldest venture funds in Malaysia and is tasked with developing the venture capital sector there. It is also an LP in the Axiata Digital Innovation Fund and 500 Durians, the ASEAN-focused fund of 500 Startups.
Gobi Partners is also adding two new members to its ASEAN team. These are Khairul Khairi, who possesses substantial experience with investment banking and sovereign funds, and Justin Park, the former CEO of Smilegate Southeast Asia.