Following their recent announcement of the Gobi-Core Fund in the Philippines, regional venture capital firm Gobi Partners launched another early-stage fund in Indonesia today. Named the Gobi-Agung Fund, it will have a fund size of US$10 M, and will disburse ticket sizes of up to US$1 M per deal.
Newly-appointed Venture Partner, Mr. Arya Masagung, has been placed in charge of the Fund by Gobi. He joined the firm in 2018 to oversee their early-stage investment strategy in Southeast Asia, with a primary focus on the Indonesian market. Prior to this, Arya was a Co-founder of Ebby, a Silicon Valley startup that provides corporate transportation services; he was also a business development executive at Verlocal, a hyperlocal marketplace. Before venturing into the startup world on his own, Arya was well-trained in his family’s businesses, which span the media and retail industries in Indonesia. Arya holds a BSc in Management, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of San Francisco in just two years.
Speaking about the Fund, Arya said, “Indonesia is in the middle of a growth spurt. No longer is Indonesia a local market, instead we believe it is an international one. Just look at Southeast Asia today, and we’ll find that most of the unicorns are Indonesian companies. Given Gobi’s experience as a regional player, we are in a unique position to be a bridge for startups in the region. By investing in both inbound and outbound companies, we will be able to utilize our regional ecosystem to its utmost potential in creating value for these companies. With this two-fold strategy, we will ride the waves of Indonesia’s emerging economy.”
Collectively, the Agung and Core Funds are key components of Gobi’s overall strategy for ASEAN. Both investment vehicles will serve as discovery funds for the firm and will be backed up by Gobi’s Meranti ASEAN Growth Fund. “We can now engage earlier with entrepreneurs and build deeper relationships in the local venture ecosystems. At the same time, we can bring further follow-on funding and Gobi’s broader resources and networks. Most importantly, we can share some of the lessons that we have learned,” said Ku Kay Mok, Gobi’s Managing Partner for ASEAN.
To date, the Agung Fund has already made its first investment in Fastwork, a freelancing platform that is headquartered in Indonesia. Founded in 2015 by a group of engineers and entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley and New York, Fastwork is one of the largest professional freelancing platforms in Southeast Asia (by number of users and projects completed). The company has grown 1,100% in revenue since December 2017, and is currently employing more than 50 people for its operations in Indonesia and Thailand.