Gobi 2018: Summer Newsletter

20 August, 2018

Gobi Exits Dianwoba to Cainiao Network

A Dianwoba rider delivers everything from food to consumer goods from grocery stores

Alibaba’s logistics arm Cainiao made a strategic investment of $290 M in Gobi’s portfolio company Dianwoba to become its controlling shareholder. Founded in 2015, Dianwoba offers outsourced delivery services for businesses and delivery services for individual customers. With Cainiao’s investment, the two companies will cooperate in warehousing, delivery and same-day delivery services. Gobi generated an exit multiple of 22x.


HLA Buys Gobi Portfolio Company Urban Revivo

Gobi invested US$10 Min Urban Revivo (UR) China

Portfolio company UR China, which owns the Urban Revivo brand in China, was recently sold by Gobi to HLA Corp Ltd., a fast-fashion brand that is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Gobi initially invested US$10 M in UR, and generated an exit value of US$41.3 M for the sale, which is an exit multiple of 4x.


Gobi Completes Sale of Hermo to istyle

From left: P.S. Chong, Ian Chua, and Ian Mok, the co-founders of Hermo

Gobi recently completed its sale of beauty e-commerce platform Hermo to Japanese listed istyle for an IRR (internal rate of return) of 91%. Gobi invested in Hermo in October 2015. The firm was the sole investor for the company’s Series A round, and provided a total of $2 M in funding to the startup. Gobi’s decision last year to exit to Hermo to istyle was driven by the Japanese listed company’s proven track record of creating successful international companies and its strategic positioning for the North Asian market.


Up-Rounds for Gobi’s Portfolio Companies

  • GoGoVan – Hong Kong’s first logistics unicorn raised $250 M for the first phase of their new round. The funding round was led by InnoVision Capital, with Cainiao, Russia-China Investment Fund, Hongrun Capital, Qianhai Fund of Funds and S8 Daojia Group following on. Proceeds from the round will be used to expand service offerings and grow new markets.
  • Chezhibao – The company raised $125 M for their Series D round, which was led by Chinese private equity fund Green Harbor Investment; Gobi followed on in the round, alongside alternative investment firm PAG and Addor Capital. The funding will be used to expand the company’s business and reach its target of establishing presence in 200 Chinese cities this year.
  • Kr Space –  The co-working space raised $96.4 M for their Series B, which will be used to add another 300,000 square meters of space by the end of 2018. Their latest round of funding comes just after a RMB600 million Pre-Series B round in January, which was recognized as the largest round of funding in the Chinese co-working space vertical to date.
  • Carsome – the secondhand car platform raised $19 M for its Series B round, which was led by Burda Principal Investments; Gobi also participated in the round, alongside InnoVen Capital and Lumia Capital. The new funds will help Carsome to advance its ambition to be the “new default way” of selling secondhand cars in ASEAN.

New Investments

Fifth from left: Black Fish Founder and CEO, Alex Yan, who was formerly COO at Tuniu.

  • January 11 – Black Fish, a consumer finance platform ($3 M, Series A)
  • January 15 – Zoom, an on-demand delivery specialist (RM14 M, Pre-Series A)
  • March 23 – AVANA, an e-commerce enabler platform ($1 M, Pre-Series A)
  • May 10 – Julo, a P2P lending startup targeting the unbanked ($5 M, Pre-Series B)

New Team Members

Gobi Appoints New Managing Director; Hires Two New Partners for ASEAN-focused Funds, Ex-Lazada Executive as Corporate Brand Director, and 11-Street Founding Member as Vice President

From left: Corporate Brand Director Raof Zainuddin, Partner Khairul Khairi (MAGF), Venture Partner Shannon Kalayanamitr, Managing Director Dan Chong, and Vice President Jong Eon Lee (JE)

In June, Gobi announced the appointment of Mr. Dan Chong as COO for its ASEAN operations. The firm also announced the hiring of Mr. Khairul Khairi as its Partner for the Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund (MAGF), and Ms. Shannon Kalayanamitr as it Venture Partner for Gobi’s upcoming Thai Fund. In July, the firm subsequently hired Mr. Raof Zainuddin as its Corporate Brand Director and Mr. Jong Eon Lee (JE) as Vice President for Investments.

Dan is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with over 20 years of experience in Merger and Acquisitions and corporate venture investment; Khairul was previously a Senior Vice President in the Innovation & Entrepreneurship (IxE) and Co-Investment Strategy (CIS) departments at Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund; Shannon is the Founder of IKIGAI Group, a consulting company designed to solve 21st Century challenges. She is currently advising the Thai government, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, and the Digital Economic Promotion Agency (DEPA) on its Thailand 4.0 Strategy. Raof was a pioneer member of Lazada, and was a major driver in Regional Content Monitoring across ASEAN under the Lazada Group. He also headed the Lazada University initiative in Malaysia, focusing on seller education and conferences. JE was previously a founding team member of 11Street, developing their initial business plans, and subsequently focusing on cross border business development from China, Korea, Europe and the US.

Gobi Attends Alibaba’s eFounders Fellowship Program in Hangzhou

Jack Ma (center) poses with the eFounders Fellowship Program Asia (Class 2). Founding Partner Thomas Tsao, Vice President Kenneth Tan were present at the event to support selected Founders Yienyee Soh, Hann Liew, Syphong Bui, and Faaez Fadhllilah, who attended the 11-day course.

From March 24 – April 4, 37 Asian entrepreneurs from seven different countries participated in Alibaba’s eFounders Fellowship Program; which was held at the Alibaba campus in Hangzhou. The startups learnt more about Alibaba’s businesses and the impact the company has had on the Chinese economy and the entrepreneurial ecosystem at large. Founding Partner Thomas G. Tsao and Vice President Kenneth Tan visited Hangzhou during the course to support the selected founders from Gobi’s portfolio: Yienyee Soh, Co-founder of AVANA; Hann Liew, Co-founder of Jirnexu; Syphong Bui, Founder of OnOnPay; and Faaez Fadhlillah, Co-founder of Tripfez.


Gobi Co-Hosts Investment Conference in Kuala Lumpur

The Gobi Partners team from China and ASEAN, along with their portfolio companies at “Crouching Panda, Hidden Tapir.”

On April 26, Gobi, GS Shop, and MAVCAP co-hosted an investment conference themed “Crouching Panda, Hidden Tapir” – Building Bridges between Northeast and Southeast Asia.” The one-day event, which was held at Le Meridien Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, saw over 200 international participants from the venture capital, private equity, and startup industries in attendance; it aimed to bring the entrepreneurial ecosystems of Northeast Asia (China, Japan, and Korea) and Southeast Asia closer together. Also present at the conference were prominent business figures such as Alibaba Group’s Kenny Ho, Head of Investments for India and Southeast Asia; Executive Director of the Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, Cindy Chow; Chairman of GS Shop, Mr. Huh Tae-soo; Executive Vice President of GS Shop (Future Strategy Division), Mr. Younghoon Park; Chairman of MAVCAP, YBhg. Datuk Noharuddin Nordin; and Jamaludin Bujang, CEO of MAVCAP.

For more on the conference, read the full story here.


Forbes 30 Under 30 2018: Five Gobi Portfolio Companies Make the List

From left: Dana (Xiaoxiao) Hou, Shi Xiaogang, Djoann Fal and Polpat Sonthamjitti, Jing Tiangwei, and Stanislaus.

In April, it was announced that five of Gobi’s portfolio companies had made Forbes’ 30 under 30 Class of 2018. The selected entrepreneurs were: Dana (Xiaoxiao) Hou, of FarmFriend; Shi Xiaogang of Xloong; Djoann Fal and Polpat Songthamjitti of GetLinks; Jing Tianwei of RUFF; and Stanislaus Mahesworo Christandito Tandelilin of Sale Stock.

Other Awards

From left: MAVCAP CEO Jamaludin Bujang holds the Funds Raised in 2017 award, while Venture Partner Khairul Khairi holds the Exit of the Year award.

  • Malaysia Venture Capital Association: Exit of the Year (Hermo); Funds Raised in 2017 (Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund)
  • Chinese Venture: Top 25 Chinese VC Firm 2017, Top 10 Most Active Private Equity Investment Firm 2017.
  • 36Kr: Top 10 Most Influential Venture Capitalists in the Ride-Hailing Vertical (Ken Xu)