Bangkok, OCTOBER 27 2021 – Gobi Partners, the most interconnected Pan-Asian venture capital firm with US$1.2 billion in assets under management, has appointed Paul Ark as Partner and Head of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG).
Prior to joining Gobi Partners, Ark managed a US$100 million global corporate venture capital fund for Siam Commercial Bank’s Digital Ventures group, one of the largest fintech corporate VCs in Southeast Asia.
In addition to his career in venture capital, Ark worked as an investment banker across Asia and North America for Deutsche Bank and Citigroup, and in retail development roles for multinationals such as Apple, Microsoft, and Thailand’s Central Group, leading each retailers’ market entry and store roll-out strategy in Mainland China.
This appointment affirms Gobi’s commitment to ensure all investments remain socially responsible and the firm’s ESG policy and practices are integrated across all aspects of its business, including its portfolio companies.
Speaking on his appointment, Ark said, “As one of the most active startup investors across Asia, Gobi Partners has the platform, resources, and expertise to become a leading advocate for sustainability and ESG, which are paramount issues and opportunities in the 21st century. I’m excited to be working with Gobi and its ESG Committee to spearhead this transformational journey for the venture capital industry and Asia’s startup ecosystems.”
As Partner, Ark will be focusing on implementing and strengthening ESG practices both within the company as well as among its portfolio companies, and advising Gobi’s ecosystem partners and stakeholders on ESG awareness and education.
Following the success of the Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund – through which Gobi backed Malaysia’s first unicorn Carsome – the firm is planning new funds to address the funding gap between early-stage and late-stage investments in Southeast Asia. Ark will spearhead quality deal flow for future funds, leveraging on his years of experience investing in the region, particularly in Thailand’s vibrant startup ecosystem.
Thomas G. Tsao, Co-founder of Gobi Partners said: “We are excited to welcome Paul on board Gobi’s team. As an ESG advisor with Gobi for a year, Paul’s invaluable input and industry know-how have helped us refine our ESG processes, both in-house and within our ever-expanding stable of portfolio companies.”
“At Gobi Partners, we invest in the most talented, diverse entrepreneurs who create the greatest social value for underserved and underrepresented entrepreneurs and communities throughout Asia. Paul’s addition to the ESG team solidifies our commitment to keep sustainability at the heart of our investments and operations.”