Newsletter | March 2024

1 April 2024

M A R C H  2 0 2 4
Aimed at catalysing Malaysian mid-to-growth stage companies, the fund will target six strategic themes: healthcare, agriculture, financial services, sustainability, education, and social infrastructure. These themes align with the Employee Provident Fund (EPF)'s strategic mandate and focus on inclusivity. The partnership with Gobi Partners represents EPF’s commitment to increasing deployment in the domestic market, further solidifying its position as the largest investor in the domestic market with an AUM of US$167.26 billion (RM702.48 billion) as of December 2023. Malaysian-based startups that align with these strategic themes and criteria can learn more about the fund by visiting Gobi Emerald Malaysia Strategic Fund (GEMS).
ProCredit Secures US$4.1 Million in Pre-Seed Funding to Propel Tech-Enabled SME Lending in the Philippines
Led by Integra Partners, with participation from the Menardo Jimenez Family Office, M Venture Partners (MVP), Cento Ventures and Gobi Partners (Gobi-Core Philippine Fund), ProCredit plans to expand its loan portfolio and evaluate entry into the banking sector to provide a comprehensive range of lending solutions to mid-market SMEs.
T O P   S T O R I E S
These awards comprise 'FinTech Startup of the Year' at the Triple A Digital Awards by The Asset, acknowledgement among 'High-Growth Companies in the Asia Pacific' by Financial Times and Statista, and the title of 'Best Use of Tech at SOBA 2023' by Star Media Group Berhad.
Esquire Philippines Trailblazer List 2024
Esquire's Trailblazer list recognised ProCredit Co-founder and CEO, Adnan Agha, and Edge Tutor Founder and CEO, Henry Motte-Muñoz, both from Gobi-Core's portfolio, among a group of exceptional individuals shaping the future of the Philippines. These trailblazers have made significant contributions as pioneering entrepreneurs and innovative young leaders, leaving a positive impact in their respective fields.
KiddoCare Honoured with MyWira Women's Award
This first-ever MyWIRA Women award underscores Kiddocare's dedication to advancing women and senior talents in the workplace. Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad (TalentCorp), in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Resources (KESUMA), introduced the pioneering initiative, MyWIRA Women to address workforce disparities. MyWIRA Women will serve as a platform for empowering women, consolidating all women empowerment programmes under TalentCorp’s oversight.
Malaysia's Cloud-based Reseller Management Startup Wins Two Awards
Ejen2U was honoured with the 'Silver Award for Best Innovation' at the 2023 Star Business Awards, recognising their dedication to improving the quality of life and supporting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). They also received the 'Silver Award for Best in Customer Service,' highlighting their commitment to delivering exceptional service to valued clients.
C O U N T R Y   A N D   I N D U S T R Y   F O C U S
A report commissioned by pet insurance provider, OneDegree, which surveyed 526 pet owners in Hong Kong, found that they spend an average of US$89.5k (HK$680,000) on pet food, snacks, veterinary visits, medication, health check-ups and dental care. “Uninvolved or permissive pet parenting is no longer the norm for pet owners,” said Emily Chow, OneDegree’s deputy CEO. “They highly value daily care, diet and their pets’ well-being and health.”
iMotorbike’s Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer on Being a Female Leader in a Male-dominated Industry
Sharmeen Looi addresses gender inequality in the automotive industry, highlighting iMotorbike's efforts to increase female representation and foster inclusivity, including tailored solutions for female riders and promoting their visibility. As iMotorbike expands globally, Sharmeen envisions breaking stereotypes and fostering inclusivity within the industry.
Travelio's Innovative Approach Reshaping Indonesian Property Market
Travelio Co-founder, Christina Suriadjaja, and Chief Representative of Shimizu Corporation Jakarta OfficeAkiyama Kohei, discuss adaptability, entrepreneurship, and strategic visions amidst economic challenges.
New Learning, Memorising Functions for Muslim Pro's Quran Feature
The updates include AiDeen, an AI-powered tool aiding in Islamic education, and revamped Quran features with improved learning tools. Fara Abdullah, Chief of Strategy of Muslim Pro, highlights the app's blend of modern technology and traditional study methods.
T H O U G H T   L E A D E R S H I P
To commemorate International Women’s Day on 8 March, Gobi Partners launched a month-long campaign dedicated to celebrating and honouring women founders and like-minded entrepreneurs within the ecosystem. Explore the articles from this special month by clicking on the photos below.
E V E N T   R E C A P
In his opening speech, Gobi GBA Managing Partner Chibo Tang emphasised the importance of showcasing successful women to inspire others and highlighted the value and potential female entrepreneurs brought to the ecosystem. Attendees had the privilege of hearing inspiring insights from Peggy Choi, Founder and CEO of Lynk, Sarah Tong, Co-Founder of Big Bang Academy, and Annie Ho, Co-Founder of Antevorta Laboratories. They reflected on their entrepreneurship journeys, joined by Shirley Li, Head of Non-Bank Financial Institutions, HSBC Commercial Banking Hong Kong.
In partnership with the British Consulate General and New Zealand Consulate General, Gobi GBA hosted a panel session for International Women’s Day in Guangzhou with women leaders,  including Yu Zhang, Financing for Gender Equality Analyst at UN Women; Wei Huang, Deputy General Manager of Ping An Bank; Prof. Zhou Di, Professor and Vice Director (Retired) from the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Jessica Huang, General Manager of Taikoo Hui (Guangzhou) Development Company Limited; and Melody Luo, Vice President of Blue River Dairy Group.
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