Pan-Asian venture capital (VC) firm Gobi Partners announced Tuesday the closing of its $10 million Gobi SuperSeed II (Gobi SSII) Fund following the participation of Allianz Malaysia Berhad (Allianz Malaysia) as a limited partner (LP).

Other LPs backing the Gobi SSII Fund are institutional investors Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd (MAVCAP) and Sunway Group, Gobi Partners said in a statement.

The Gobi SSII Fund targets early-stage (Seed, Series Pre-A and Series A) technology-enabled local startups operating within artificial intelligence, big data, cloud, e-commerce, fintech, internet of things, and halal-economy-focused segments, which have the capability to scale up and bring sizeable returns to the Malaysian economy.

“Allianz Malaysia is one of the very few corporates that has been at the forefront in driving digital innovation in Malaysia, and as one of the earliest regional VCs to set up shop in Malaysia, Gobi is very proud to have them on board as one of our key LPs,” said Gobi Co-Founder and Chairman Thomas G. Tsao.

“We believe that both the fund and the portfolio companies will benefit substantially from Allianz’s ecosystem locally here in Malaysia as well as globally,” he added.

Allianz Malaysia Berhad Chief Executive Officer Sean Wang said Allianz Malaysia’s appetite for digital change has allowed the firm to capitalise on tremendous new opportunities and explore innovation-led collaborations for the last couple of years.

“Our general insurance arm, Allianz General Insurance Company (Malaysia) Berhad, was an early partner of insurance technology firm PolicyStreet and online property rental platform SPEEDHOME (both established in 2017), which are two of Gobi’s portfolio companies,

“So, we are delighted to join Gobi Partners as one of their LPs. This is our first investment in a VC, and we look forward to the milestones we can accomplish together,” he added.

Since its launch in late 2020, the Gobi SSII Fund has already invested in four Malaysian startups namely the innovation arm of Sunway Group and Sunway University, Sunway Innovation Labs; technology news platform, TechNode; SPEEDHOME; and PolicyStreet.

Given the early-stage nature of the fund, the Gobi SSII Fund can invest in up to 25 portfolio companies.

Gobi Partners is the most interconnected Pan-Asian venture capital firm with $1.5 billion in assets under management (AUM) across North Asia, South Asia, and ASEAN.

Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, the firm supports entrepreneurs from the early to growth stages and focuses on emerging and underserved markets.

Founded in 2002, Gobi has raised 15 funds to date, invested in over 320 startups and nurtured 9 unicorns. Gobi has grown to 15 locations across key markets in Bangkok, Beijing, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Lahore, Manila, Riyadh, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Singapore and Surabaya.

As a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, Gobi Partners is committed to aligning strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption to ensure long-term value creation and sustainability across our portfolio.

The firm launched its inaugural Sustainability Report in June 2022.

Allianz Malaysia Berhad, on the other hand, is a subsidiary of Allianz SE. The firm has two insurance subsidiaries – Allianz General Insurance Company (Malaysia) Berhad (Allianz General) and Allianz Life Insurance Malaysia Berhad (Allianz Life).

Allianz General is one of the leading general insurers in Malaysia and has a broad spectrum of services in personal lines, small to medium enterprise business and large industrial risks.

The gross written premium (GWP) for general insurance business for financial year 2021 reached a mark of MYR2.43 billion ($530 million).

Allianz Life offers a comprehensive range of life and health insurance and investment-linked products.

For the financial year 2021, it recorded a GWP of MYR3.26 billion ($720 million) and it is one of the fastest growing life insurers in Malaysia.

Allianz Malaysia has 32 branches nationwide.

Gobi Partners appoints Gui Ee Leen as Human Resources Partner