Gobi-Core appointed as a Co-Investment Partner for Philippine Government’s Startup Venture Fund

February 17, 2023

17 Feb 2023, Manila: The Gobi-Core Philippine Fund (Gobi-Core) has been officially accredited as a Co-Investment Partner (CIP) of the Philippine government’s Startup Venture Fund (SVF), one of the first since the fund’s inception in 2021. 

Per the Innovative Startup Act (RA 11337), the Startup Venture Fund (SVF) shall be used to match investments by selected investors in startups of varying stages based in the Philippines. The SVF – a joint effort by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and National Development Company (NDC) – currently has an allocation of US$10 Million (PHP500 Million). 

Through this role, Gobi-Core, a joint-venture partnership co-managed by Manila-based venture capital firm Core Capital and Pan-Asian Gobi Partners, will be able to co-invest with the SVF in Philippine-based high-potential startups while bridging these investees to the rest of the region via the firm’s 15 countries ASEAN presence and track record of performance. 

On the selection, Core Capital Managing Partner, Jason Gaisano said, “We are incredibly grateful for this recognition in being appointed as the Co-Investment Partner to the government’s SVF initiative. We strongly believe in the effectiveness of public-private partnerships in the tech ecosystem and with this endeavor we emphasize both locally and internationally that the Philippines is bound for an inflection point.  From our success in the past four years in creating opportunities, jobs, and empowering brilliant founders, we are excited about what’s to come and are assured that by working together, we can bring our country’s talented entrepreneurs to new heights.”

Since its establishment in 2018, Core Capital has already invested in startups which have now become local household names such as Tier One – a premier esports and entertainment brand which ranked first on LinkedIn’s Top PH Startups list last year – and Kumu, the Philippines’ largest social entertainment app and one of the country’s top tech companies. These examples join the ranks of other startups that have a strong regional presence or are set for regional expansion, a signature quality in Core Capital’s portfolio.

The firm has been active in documenting and developing the Philippine tech ecosystem outside of its investing too, publishing the Philippine Startup Ecosystem Report 2021 and the State of Talent in Tech Report 2022 while sitting on the start-up grant investment committee for the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and functioning as the yearly organizer for the Alibaba Netpreneur and e-Founders Program in the country which has trained over 200 entrepreneurs nationwide for the past three years.

In line with the country’s growing inclination to environmental and social sustainability, Core Capital is staying ahead of the curve by prioritizing Environmental, Social and Governance initiatives through its investments, with over half of its existing portfolios being founded or led by women.

One such example is the pioneer and largest Philippine-based cloud kitchen company CloudEats, founded by current CEO Kimberly Yao, to create next-generation digital brands and proprietary cloud kitchen technology. As of December 2022, having recently secured a Series A extension round of US$7 Million, the company has raised US$14 Million and has served over five million dishes since its launch in 2019, becoming one of the region’s leading cloud kitchen players. 

As a proven history of successful investments remains the leading requirement for the SVF’s CIP accreditation, Gobi-Core’s distinctly strong track record of investing in highly-successful talents is what has earned the firm this role.

The Philippines’ National Development Company General Manager and SVF Investment Committee Chairman, Antonilo Mauricio said: “We expect Gobi-Core to leverage on its international network to fast-track technology transfer and provide much-needed capital to Philippine startups. The startup economy in the Philippines needs the kind of guidance and expertise that Gobi-Core can provide. As a pioneer CIP of the SVF, we are hopeful that Gobi-Core can be the key to producing the next round of true unicorns from the country.”

In terms of responsibilities, all investment partners shall provide mentorship, managerial oversight, business networks or other support necessary for capacity building and to ensure that the beneficiary startups are given the needed resources to achieve their goals. In addition, startups may be enrolled in DTI’s current accelerator or incubator program to assist them further.

About Gobi-Core Philippine Fund
The Gobi-Core PH Fund is a joint-venture partnership between Gobi Partners and Core Capital. Through its first fund, Gobi-Core PH fund, it aims to invest in the next wave of entrepreneurs in the Philippines – for Filipinos, by Filipinos. For more information about Gobi-Core, please visit https://corevc.ph

About Gobi Partners
Gobi Partners is the most interconnected Pan-Asian venture capital firm with US$1.5 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 15 funds to date, invested in over 350 startups and nurtured 10 unicorns. Gobi has grown to 15 locations across key markets in Bangkok, Beijing, Cairo, 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, 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.

For more information about Gobi Partners, please visit https://gobi.vc

About the National Development Company
National Development Company is the government’s investment arm and one of the oldest companies in the Philippines, having been established in 1919. Through the years, NDC has developed, financed, and implemented pioneering projects aligned with the government’s reforms and policies to spur the local economy. 

As the country gears towards innovation and industrialization, NDC is firm in its mission of enabling industry development through the Startup Venture Fund (SVF) Program, an initiative under the Republic Act No. 11337 or the Innovative Startup Act that provides financing options for qualified Philippine-based startups to develop the country’s startup ecosystem.

For more information about NDC, please visit https://www.ndc.gov.ph/.