Newsletter | December 2023

11 December 2023





Bitsmedia Raises US$20 million in Series A Funding Led by Gobi Partners, CMIA and Bintang Capital Partners

Gobi's investment in Bitsmedia is in line with the firm's overarching "TaqwaTech" investment thesis, which centres on identifying and supporting growth companies that leverage technology for purpose-driven innovation to cater to the needs of the Ummah – encompassing Muslim consumers, businesses, and communities globally. 
etaily, Southeast Asia's E-commerce Enabler, Raises US$17.8 million in Series A Funding 
Philippines-based etaily offers end-to-end solutions for global brands like Levi’s and Skechers. With a client base of around 50, it manages product development, platform selling, and order fulfilment through its asset-light warehouse network. Processing over 10 million orders, etaily aims for US$40 million in gross sales this year, eyeing a robust target of US$100 million by 2025.

Aptoide Secures US$9.18 million Investment from Digital Turbine, Strengthening Strategic Partnership
This investment solidifies the commitment of both Aptoide and Digital Turbine to providing app developers, distribution channels, telecommunications operators and users with an open, innovative alternative for app distribution and monetisation.

Protos Labs Raises US$2.25 million in Oversubscribed Seed Round to Revolutionise Cyber Risk Management
The seed round saw participation from several prominent investors, reflecting the growing importance of holistic risk prevention and transference solutions. The company plans to use the funds to accelerate its global expansion and product development, as it works to revolutionise the cyber insurance and risk management landscape. 

Vircle Receives Venture Capital Injection in Its Mission to Financially Empower Malaysian School Children
The funds will help Vircle expand its innovative financial education services, including a child-safe Visa prepaid card, to public schools nationwide. This investment aligns with Khazanah Nasional Berhad’s Future Malaysia Programme, addressing the gap in financial literacy for children across Southeast Asia.

Rising East Asia League Secures Seed Funding From AEF Greater Bay Area Fund
AEF GBA Fund marks its first sports entertainment investment in Rising East Asia League (Realeague), an innovative sports entertainment focusing on the next-gen basketball audience in East Asia. Realeague plans a pan-regional competition with top clubs from Mainland China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and Mongolia, aiming to boost basketball development and regional competitiveness.

Gobi-Core Philippine Fund Releases Founders’ Report 2023
The report highlights the nation's strengths, challenges faced by founders, and the potential for the ecosystem's success, emphasising a diverse mix of entrepreneurs and the need for regulatory clarity and government support in fostering a thriving startup environment.


JazzCash and Fatima Gobi Ventures Team Up to Boost  Startups in Pakistan

This collaboration exemplifies the power of partnership in driving innovation and growth in Pakistan's financial technology sector, with JazzCash venturing into Travel Tech, E-commerce, and FinTech in the first phase by onboarding FGV's investee companies, including Abhi, PriceOye, and SastaTicket.
European Commission's Ruling on Gatekeepers Is a Major Step Towards a Fair Digital Market
The Digital Markets Act (DMA)'s impact on the app store market is anticipated to be substantial - creating a healthier, stronger, and more diverse ecosystem that benefits both users and developers. This development levels the playing field, offering smaller independent app stores a fair opportunity to compete with big tech giants.

Paywatch Launches in the Philippines, Plans Indonesia Expansion by Year-End
Paywatch will have the opportunity to serve the 47 million employees in the country. This expansion is an important milestone in our journey to provide greater financial inclusion in the region,” said Co-founder of Paywatch and President, Alex Kim.

CARSOME Announces the Appointment of Miguel Fernandez as Its CFO
With senior financial leadership roles at Fortune 100 companies like Amazon, Dell, and Coupang, Miguel's extensive experience in industries such as FinTech, E-commerce, and manufacturing positions him well for contributing to CARSOME's financial strategy and operations.


In 2023, Gobi has been proactively identifying and investing in impactful Malaysian companies, supported by Khazanah Nasional Berhad through the Gobi Dana Impak Ventures (GDIV) Fund. Throughout November, the #GobiDanaImpakVentures: Empowering Malaysia campaign illuminated Khazanah's Dana Impak mission, showcased companies invested in GDIV, and highlighted Gobi's contributions to fortifying the local startup ecosystem.

Click each photo below to read the article.


Gobi Partners and Portfolio Companies Join JUMPSTARTER 2023 Alongside All-Star Judges Joseph Tsai, Allan Zeman, Bernard Chan

The Gobi team joins the global pitch competition JUMPSTARTER 2023 curated by the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund as judges, panel speakers and hosts of the after party, celebrating this year’s winner cell-therapeutics startup Allegrow BioTech out of 1000 startup applicants over 15 pitching rounds. The event featured exhibitions and experiences by Gobi portfolio companies Sandbox VR, NEX, Chazence, Gense, Rice Robotics, and more, garnering over 520,000 participants from 85 countries and regions.
"Finding the Next Unicorn in Malaysia" Panel Session at the EPF Market Summit 2023

During the EPF Private Market Summit 2023, Gobi Co-founder and Chairperson, Thomas G. Tsao, underscored Southeast Asia's significance as the new "plus one" in the evolving investment landscape. Highlighting Gobi Partners' pivotal role in bridging East and West since entering Malaysia in 2008, Thomas emphasised the promising investment opportunities in the region. 

The panel, which included Taufiq Iskandar from Penjana Kapital Sdn. Bhd., Jenny Lee from GGV Capital Asia, and Khailee Ng from 500 Global, explored the unique interplay of advanced technologies in Northeast Asia and the growing potential of Southeast Asia.
Gobi Partners Spearheads Co-Innovation Dialogue at TechFest 2023 in Vietnam

Gobi, represented by Managing Partner Dan Chong, Vietnam Venture Partner Nhat Minh Phat, and Gobi GBA Managing Director Tony Tung, played a pivotal role at TechFest 2023 in Vietnam. Tony's keynote on "New Venture Investment Strategy in the Era of Chip War" showcased Gobi Partners' perspective on tech startup investments amid the global semiconductor shortage, while Dan contributed to a panel discussion on boosting co-innovation for national technology advancement.

Their active participation underscored Gobi's commitment to empowering Vietnamese startups with knowledge and capital, contributing to the discourse on a thriving innovation ecosystem.
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