16 September 2020 – Regional venture capital firm Gobi Partners and Sunway Group, one of Malaysia’s largest conglomerates, hosted a luncheon today to announce four winners of the SuperSeed II Championship, a virtual pitching competition that was held from May to August of this year. In attendance at the event were Sunway Group President Tan Sri Chew Chee Kin, Sunway Group Executive Vice President of President’s Office Evan Cheah, Sunway Group Chief Innovation Officer and Sunway iLabs Director, Matt Van Leeuwen, Chairman and Founding Partner of Gobi Partners, Thomas G. Tsao, Managing Director of Gobi Partners Malaysia, Jamaludin Bujang, and MDEC’s Vice President of Global Growth Acceleration Division, Gopi Ganesalingam.
The Championship is aimed at early-stage Malaysian companies, inviting them to enter to win the coveted prize of up to RM 15 million in funding (subject to due diligence), as well as additional prizes that included: a potential grant from MDEC; a wild card entry into Sunway iLabs’ Super Accelerator Programme; cloud credits and a CXO membership from Alibaba Cloud; and an opportunity to attend an exclusive entrepreneurship program curated by the Alibaba Business School.
Just last week, Gobi announced the Final Four winners of the Championship, all of whom were in attendance at the event:
- Speedhome – a property transactional platform that allows tenants to rent properties without a deposit, while the landlord gets superior protection from Allianz General Insurance.
- MyCashOnline – a conventional digital wallet for unbanked migrant workers to purchase financial products & services online in their mother tongue, without any bank account or credit/debit card.
- Lokein – a social hype community e-commerce marketplace that allows customers to securely buy and sell pre-owned and vintage goods.
- StixFresh – a simple, all-natural and safe sticker coated with plant-based compounds that significantly increases the shelf life of fruits by up to 14 days by simply applying the sticker to the fruits.
Speaking on the Championship, Thomas said, “The pandemic has hit all of us hard, and Gobi, together with our esteemed partners, Sunway and MAVCAP, wanted to give early-stage companies in Malaysia a fighting chance to win funding that would help them navigate
through these tough times. We were amazed by the overwhelming response — over 200 startups from 10 countries, operating in a variety of industries entered the competition. Final Four, will now get the opportunity to be a part of our portfolio under the SuperSeed Fund II, which was launched last year.”
SuperSeed Fund II is aimed at startups in several key verticals that are trending in the Malaysian entrepreneurial scene, such as AgriTech, AI, Big Data, Cloud services, e-Commerce, FinTech, Internet of Things (IoT), the Circular Economy as well as TaqwaTech, a vertical which target innovative startups offering products and services that serve Muslim consumers, businesses or communities all around the world. The firm is targeting 25-30 investments for this fund, and the median ticket size is approximately US$250 K.
Sunway has been a key partner for Gobi since the launch of this fund and the Championship. Commenting on the partnership, Sunway Group President Tan Sri Chew Chee Kin said, “Sunway is proud to have partnered with Gobi Partners to launch the Superseed II Championship as we strongly believe that this competition will benefit and contribute to the vibrancy and dynamism of Malaysia’s start-up landscape as they manoeuvre their way through the pandemic. We are also happy to be partnering with Gobi on the Superseed Fund and the Sunway iLabs Super Accelerator.”
Upon the close of the Championship, the four startups will now be undergoing due diligence by Gobi’s investment team. They will also be joining Sunway iLabs’ next Super Accelerator cohort, which begins in Q1 2021.