Venture capital firm Gobi Partners announced that it has partnered with Malaysia Venture Capital Management Berhad (MAVCAP) and local conglomerate Sunway Group to launch their early-stage fund Malaysia SuperSeed Fund II.
In its official statement, Gobi Partners shared that the fund has a size of US$10 million, and will be focussed on financing seed to pre-Series A startups in Malaysia.
The fund follows the previous fund called ASEAN SuperSeed Fund which was launched in late 2016.
It went on to invest in startups such as C2B car platform Carsome, fintech platform Jirnexu, social commerce platform AVANA, and on-demand delivery startup ZOOM.
The firm considered the ASEAN SuperSeed Fund as a success with its 21 funded companies, in which more than half of them raised up-rounds in the past two years.
Thomas G. Tsao, Chairman and Founding Partner of Gobi said, “Gobi sees the potential of Malaysian startups, and we believe that Malaysia is one of the best entrepreneurial ecosystems in Asia. We are looking forward to meeting the potential companies that could become our portfolio for SuperSeed Fund II.”
For Superseed Fund II, Gobi said that it aims to vet 25-30 startups in trending key verticals in the Malaysian entrepreneurial scene such as AI, big data, cloud services, e-commerce, fintech, Internet of Things (IoT), marketplaces, the circular economy as well as taqwa tech, a Muslim-community-targeted vertical.
The minimum investment it seeks to make will be around US$250,000.
This fund is also supported by Sunway Group, who has established its business since 1974, and has since grown as Malaysia’s conglomerates with 12 key business divisions including real estate, construction, malls, education, and healthcare.
For this fund, Gobi has been working closely with Alibaba on supporting the entrepreneurship community in Southeast Asia through the eFounders Fellowship Program by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Alibaba Business School, as well as their accelerator partner, Sunway iLabs Accelerator by Sunway Group.
The Fellowship Program will provide selected portfolio companies with exposure to e-commerce and digital access to perspectives from business leaders across Alibaba and China, as well as an opportunity to connect with entrepreneurs from the ASEAN region. The aim of the fellowship is to empower ecosystem building entrepreneurs from developing countries to create more inclusive and sustainable economies in their respective markets by leveraging digital technology.
Sunway iLabs will be focussing on connecting startups with Sunway’s group of companies, including with 30,000 students under the Sunway Education Group. iLabs also provides connections to top academic institutions that Sunway University has strong partnerships with, such as Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, and UC Berkeley.