Newsletter | November 2023

1 November 2023





MTR Lab and Gobi Partners Invest US$5.9 Million in Hong Kong Construction Tech Company isBIM to Drive Industry Towards Greener Future
Leveraging its AI-powered SaaS platform, data-driven solutions, and digital twin applications, isBIM propels construction projects to new heights in operational efficiency, energy optimisation, safety enhancements, and ESG reporting. Danny Chong,  Executive Director at Gobi GBA, highlights isBIM's pivotal role in advancing safety, productivity, and sustainability by reducing construction waste and fostering efficiency.
Gobi Partners Join BoomGrow’s Journey to Revolutionise Precision Farming in Asia
Led by co-founders Murali Krishnamurthy, Dr Jay Desan, and Shan Palani, BoomGrow pioneers urban farming in densely populated areas using repurposed shipping containers as 'Machine Farms', minimising environmental impact and growing pesticide-free vegetables.

Gobi Partners Invests in Ejen2u’s Mission to Empower Entrepreneurs Nationwide
Currently, Ejen2u serves over 340,000 resellers across Malaysia, including 600 women leaders, facilitating over US$77 million in sales since its inception in 2019. The platform empowers women to generate additional income while caring for their families.


Gobi Portfolio Companies Win Fintech Frontiers Awards 2023
Three Gobi investee companies secured victory at the 2023 Fintech Frontiers Awards in Malaysia. PolicyStreet claimed the Top InsurTech Startup title, while Paywatch was honoured with the Top ESG Startup award. Additionally, pitchIN was recognised as the Ecosystem Builder of the Year for his pivotal role in nurturing the FinTech ecosystem's development.
Synagie Co-Founder Olive Tai Selected as EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2023 Singapore Awards
From a pool of nearly 100 nominations, Gobi-backed Synagie Group Asia and Europe's Co-founder and Managing Director, Olive Tai, alongside Phyllis Ong of Armstrong Industrial, Althea Lim of Gushcloud International, and Yvon Bock of Hegen, were recognised for their exceptional entrepreneurial spirit, growth, purpose, and impact.

WeLab Aims for 500 Million Users in the Next Decade
Currently serving 60 million individuals and 700 corporate clients, with a US$12.8 million (HK$100 billion) loan portfolio, WeLab plans to expand its FinTech services across Asia. Confident about the region's potential, it aims for cross-market collaborations to enhance its reach and scale.

Saving The 'ERTH' While Building a Profitable Business
Mohamed "Mo" Tarek and Roshan Kanesan shed light on the escalating global e-waste issue, which surged to 53.6 million metric tons by 2019, with only 17% effectively recycled. Notably, ERTH successfully diverted over 1,000,000 KG of e-waste from landfills, a milestone acknowledged by the recent support from the Khazanah Nasional-backed Gobi Dana Impak Ventures Fund.

Umrahme Opens the First Fully Digital Umrah Booking Platform in the Saudi Arabia Region
In line with Saudi Vision 2030 and the latest visa regulations, Umrahme is dedicated to assisting pilgrims in a streamlined and efficient Umrah and visa process. Offering round-the-clock digital support to all travellers, Umrahme ensures a seamless spiritual journey through transparency and a steadfast commitment to community building and social responsibility. 


Southeast Asian Used-Car Marketplace CARSOME Anticipates Profitability in 2024
Eric Cheng drove CARSOME to become Malaysia’s first tech unicorn during the funding boom in 2021. Now, amid higher interest rates and worries about an impending recession, the Co-founder and CEO of CARSOME is shifting gears to focus on profitability in an effort to adjust to the lower-risk environment after more than eight years of breakneck growth.
Efinix: Industry is Waiting for Change
Efinix founder, Sammy Cheung, spent his early career in the FPGA industry but realised in 2012 that he wanted to do something to help address customers’ desire for something different. Going into Efinix’s 10th year anniversary, Sammy talks about the highs and lows of building an FPGA company as President and CEO, what excites him in the industry, what he’s most proud of, and more.

Juliet Zhu of CARSOME Cover Story: Driven to Excel
As CARSOME's current President and CFO, Juliet Zhu's transition from an investor to a hands-on role within CARSOME marked a pivotal point in her career, aimed at bridging the gap between companies driven by long-term value creation and those pursuing short-term gains.


11 Gobi Companies to Watch in 2023, According to Forbes
For the 2023 edition, Forbes Asia spotlights businesses that empower underserved markets or harness cutting-edge technologies. These startups are bold dreamers, game-changers, and visionaries reshaping industries.

The two-part 'Gobi Big Picture' features all Gobi-invested companies to watch in 2023. Click the buttons below to read the articles.


ORIGIN Innovation Awards 2023 Nominations are Open
TNGlobal announces the return of the 4th annual ORIGIN Innovation Awards, celebrating enterprises that exemplify outstanding innovation and entrepreneurship. With over 1000 nominations and 160 awardees from 20 vibrant APAC countries, this year's focus on sustainability aligns with the UN SDGs.

Nominate leading startup figures by Dec 31, 2023, for exclusive business prospects and media visibility.


Early Stage Startup Fest 2023: "A Bird's Eye View into Fundraising in Malaysia and the Region for Early-Stage Startups" Panel Session
Gobi's Managing Director, Vincent Low, joined forces with Jake Thui from Ignite Asia, Frank Kang from Antler, and Tunku Omar Asraf from
Artem Ventures at Foundingbird Malaysia's esteemed Early Stage Startup Fest 2023, discussing the pivotal role of VC investments in turbocharging early-stage startups.

GUIDE Managing Director, Neil Cheong, moderated the engaging conversation, highlighting the importance of fostering resilient business models, effective networking, and leveraging digital tools for sustainable growth.
Barefoot IT Siargao Event 2023
At the Philippines' first Digital Nomad Summit, Gobi-Core Philippine Fund Founding Partner and Gobi Head of ESG and Circular Economy, Carlo Chen-Delantar highlighted the digital nomad ecosystem's impact on the nation's tech industry, emphasising its role in talent attraction and tourism infrastructure development.

Notably, the Philippines showcased a robust mobile user base of 118.2 million, ranking second among the ASEAN-6 countries, but its fixed broadband internet speed, averaging 91.56 MBPS, indicated room for improvement. As the country continues to evolve in this digital landscape, the potential for enhancing digital infrastructure remains promising.
Entrepreneurs' Summit 2023: "The Unicorn Sickness: Rethinking What Counts as Successful Entrepreneurship" Panel Session
Gobi Managing Partner, Jamaludin Bujang, highlighted the importance of shifting focus from obsessing over unicorn status to prioritising profitability and ESG considerations.

Alongside panellists, Malaysia Debt Ventures Berhad CEO, Nizam Mohamed Nadzri, and Adaptive Capital Partners Managing Partner, Shi-Ying Lau, they had commended ambitious goals and stressed that unicorn status was not the sole criterion for venture capitalists. The panel also explored how this pursuit influenced a company's approach to innovation.
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