Pan-Asian venture capital firm Gobi Partners has bolstered its HealthTech portfolio with an aggregate investment of $11.8 million, spreading across 12 dynamic startups within China’s Greater Bay Area (GBA) and Southeast Asia – or ‘Greater Bay ASEAN’.

Gobi Partners said in a statement on Thursday that the firm has reached a new milestone by making simultaneous investments in the Greater Bay Area and Southeast Asia’s HealthTech landscape.

It noted that the firm has recently spearheaded the Series A funding round for Hong Kong’s biotechnology firm ImmunoCure and participated in the Series A funding round for Malaysia’s telehealth platform ORA in recent months.

According to Gobi Partners, these initiatives underscore its dedication to HealthTech innovation and its intent to expand in the pivotal regions of Greater Bay ASEAN.

As a proactive participant in the HealthTech sector, Gobi Partners said it has utilized its resources to stimulate growth and fuel innovation.

It noted that its eclectic portfolio comprises trailblazing HealthTech companies, each known for their distinctive offerings including Hong Kong’s first unicorn exit – Prenetics, Biomed, Panoptic AI, ScolioScan, Gense Technologies, Immuno Cure and ORA.

All these companies illustrated its commitment to forging HealthTech’s future.

Gobi Partners also highlighted that its recent foray into Southeast Asia’s HealthTech sector highlighted its commitment to expanding access to high-quality care in the region.

According to the firm, its strategic investment in ORA, a pioneering vertically integrated telehealth platform, reflects its recognition of the swift shift towards digital health.

It noted that this trend gained momentum even before the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is also noted that ORA’s direct-to-consumer model, tailored to Southeast Asia where nearly 40 percent of healthcare expenditure is out-of-pocket and their emphasis on managing chronic conditions rather than providing one-off treatments, holds potential for significant disruption in the region.

With approximately 70 percent of ORA’s revenue derived from recurring subscription plans and retention rates surpassing that of Netflix, Gobi Partners said the company’s impact is tangible.

Launched in 2021, ORA operates under three distinct brands: Modules, andSons, and OVA, each targeting dermatology, male health, and female reproductive health respectively, all underpinned by ORA’s robust infrastructure.

A cornerstone of ORA’s strategy is nurturing early relationships with younger individuals dealing with non-life-threatening yet confidence-impacting conditions to cultivate enduring trust, said Gobi Partners.

According to Gobi Partners, this strategic alignment with innovative HealthTech startups like ORA underpins its long-term growth strategy in Southeast Asia.

Gobi Partners has also continually supported HealthTech enterprises through strategic investments in ventures that hold the potential to revolutionize healthcare across Asia.

According to the statement, the investment strategy of Gobi Partners is driven by the regional advantages offered by the GBA.

Rich in resources and talent, it said the GBA provides an ideal environment for HealthTech innovation.

It said success stories, like that of Hong Kong’s first unicorn exit Prenetics, which listed in the United States in May 2022 and formed a $200 million joint venture “Insighta” for breakthrough multi-cancer early detection screening with globally renowned scientist Prof. Dennis Lo in 2023 June, highlighted Gobi Partners’ successful track record.

According to Gobi Partners, these achievements underscore not only the firm’s investment strategy but also the region’s capacity to cultivate unicorns.

It said the emerging status of Hong Kong as an innovation powerhouse and the active role of universities as business incubators significantly shape the firm’s investment decisions.

These factors, combined with supportive government policies, make these regions attractive investment destinations for Gobi Partners.

Currently, the majority of Gobi Partners’ HealthTech investments are based within the GBA.

It is also noted that Gobi Partners’ dedication to sustainable and responsible investing is a cornerstone of its investment decisions.

Many HealthTech companies from its portfolio including Prenetics, Gense and Panoptic AI, feature in its recent sustainability report, reinforcing the firm’s commitment to investments that positively impact society.

Gobi Partners said the firm strives to set a benchmark in responsible investing, aiming to shape a sustainable future via its portfolio companies.

“At Gobi Partners, our mission is to ensure high-quality healthcare for all through tech innovation and digital transformation,

“Therefore, we are committed to expanding our HealthTech portfolio with sustainability and impact acting as guiding principles in our investment strategy,” said Thomas G. Tsao, Co-founder and Chairperson of Gobi Partners.

Gobi Partners is a venture capital firm with $1.6 billion in assets under management (AUM).

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 16 funds, invested in over 380 startups (62 related to the circular economy) and generated 59 exits.

Gobi has grown to 15 locations across key markets in Bangkok, Cairo, Dhaka, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Lahore, Manila, 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, labor, environment and anti-corruption to ensure long-term value creation and sustainability across our portfolio.

As a participant in the United Nations Global Compact, the firm launched its second sustainability report in June 2023.

HSBC, GOBI Partners join hands to support innovative businesses between Hong Kong and ASEAN