Gobi Partners, a leading pan-Asian venture capital firm, is firmly dedicated to promoting sustainable development and is poised to make significant investments in circular economy sectors across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, with a particular focus on the vibrant Greater Bay Area (GBA).

With a strategic emphasis on fostering positive environmental impact and sustainable growth, Gobi Partners GBA (Gobi GBA) has already identified key sectors of interest, including the automotive industry, as well as emerging sectors within the circular economy such as new materials and consumer product resale, Gobi Partners said in a statement on Monday.

By strategically allocating capital, Gobi Partners said that Gobi GBA aims to support companies that are at the forefront of driving positive environmental change and adopting circular business models.

This focus aligns with investment trends of the past two years, where sustainability and circular economy trends have gained significant traction.

Within its extensive portfolio spanning 15 locations across Asia and totaling $150 million in investments across 80 companies, it said Gobi GBA has dedicated a sizable amount to invest in these related sectors, including in companies such as Yuan Planet, Ecoinno, Chazence, Orcauboat, Clearbot, En-Trak, Farm66 and Wristcheck.

Meanwhile, it is noted that top-tier automakers worldwide, including Renault (France) and Volkswagen (Germany), are actively pursuing initiatives to establish circularity in vehicle production and reduce waste by reusing materials and resources.

Despite these efforts, the automotive industry’s current level of circularity remains limited due to the absence of well-defined material recycling processes among the majority of automakers.

Against the backdrop of China’s Development Plan for the Circular Economy in the 14th Five-Year Plan Period, which prioritizes initiatives such as recycling, remanufacturing, green product design, and renewable resources, Gobi GBA’s recent investment in the automotive sector reaffirms its commitment to supporting innovative companies driving positive change.

One notable investment by Gobi GBA’s AEF GBA Fund anchored by Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund is in Yuan Planet, a leading Chinese provider of alternative aftermarket, specialty salvage, and recycled auto parts to repair and accessorize vehicles.

Yuan Planet aims to improve the automotive recycling process by establishing comprehensive processing and dismantling centers in the GBA and a supply chain platform for recycled automotive parts, equipped with features such as a vehicular component database and a cloud-based management system.

Additionally, they have tapped into the growing industry of recycled Electric Vehicle (EV) parts by incorporating EV dismantling lines in their dismantling plants.

Yuan Planet’s recent funding successes, including completing Series B1 and B2 financing rounds, have further solidified its position in the industry.

These financing rounds have attracted substantial investments in the eight-figure USD range from notable investors, including Gobi Partners GBA, NIO Capital, and Joy Capital.

The strategic alignment with sustainable supply chain providers like Yuan Planet underpins Gobi Partners’ long-term growth strategy in GBA.

It is also noted that every year, an alarming amount of plastic, measured in millions of tonnes and valued at billions of dollars, finds its way into landfills, undergoes incineration, or seeps into the environment.

The scale of the issue becomes even more staggering when considering that approximately 1.5 million metric tonnes of mismanaged plastic enter the ocean annually.

Gobi GBA has invested in companies such as Orcauboat and Clearbot, which help to clean up plastic waste in marine environments, as well as companies such as Ecoinno and Chazence, which focus on developing sustainable materials that can reduce reliance on traditional fossil fuel-derived plastics.

Gobi GBA also expresses a particular interest in circular consumption platforms that actively embrace rental, resale, and repair practices.

A noteworthy study estimated that sustainable and circular business models in the fashion industry could expand from their current 3.5 percent market share to an impressive 23 percent by 2030, potentially making them worth a remarkable $700 billion.

The firm seeks investments in companies dedicated to developing sustainable materials and fibers for use across industries, thereby promoting a more environmentally conscious approach to consumer goods.

Furthermore, Gobi GBA also recognizes the value of luxury resale platforms, for instance, Wristcheck as they promote the growth of resale and secondhand markets.

Meanwhile, in the realm of electronic waste, the generation and management of e-waste in China persist as significant issues, fueled by the country’s affordable labor and manufacturing capabilities5

The need for effective solutions is pressing, and Gobi GBA expresses a keen interest in e-waste data solutions, tracking and managing e-waste throughout the recycling process, and ensuring that valuable materials are recovered and harmful substances are managed safely.

Additionally, Gobi GBA is committed to minimizing e-waste generation by actively supporting technologies and collaborating with local workshops like Vessel Repair to promote product longevity and responsible electronic consumption.

“The GBA possesses numerous prominent science and technology companies, a wealth of skilled individuals, and substantial research capabilities that align with economic needs,” said Chibo Tang, Managing Partner of Gobi Partners GBA.

“One of Gobi GBA’s objectives is to effectively connect and enhance the visibility of these exceptional companies within the emerging sectors of the circular economy,

“It is vital that we strive for positive change, promote sustainable practices, and contribute to the growth of a more circular and resource-efficient economy,” he added.

Gobi GBA was established in 2016 as a part of the leading Pan-Asian venture capital platform Gobi Partners.

It is the sole general partner (GP) of the Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund (AHKEF) as well as the AEF Greater Bay Area Fund (AEF GBA Fund) and has formed strategic partnerships with other renowned financial institutions such as HSBC and Hang Seng Bank.

As of 2022, Gobi GBA has invested in over 70 startups across the Greater Bay Area and has fostered the growth of seven unicorns including Airwallex, Amber, Animoca Brands, GoGoX,
Prenetics, and more.

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