HOW FAVFUL TRANSFORMED MALAYSIA’S BEAUTY INDUSTRY

Right on the heels of an announcement by iMedia of their acquisition of Favful, Gobi Partners, one of the longest-standing Pan-Asian venture capital firms in the region, shares our thoughts on the company and their ascent to becoming one of the most popular online social platforms in Malaysia.

A quest to encourage universal good self-esteem and humble beginnings
Launched in 2016, Favful began with the noble mission to help Malaysians from every background feel good about themselves and to foster a stress-free beauty shopping experience for everyone.

2019 and the leap to e-commerce
Three years…


“The pandemic is truly a World War, between a virus and mankind. It will end when our weapons of mass vaccination are fully deployed. Post-war, countries which are the healthiest will enjoy a first-mover advantage in rebuilding their economies… and entrepreneurship will be their greatest competitive advantage in the creative construction of new industries.”

2020 is the proverbial best of times and worst of times. It started with doom and gloom for the general economy yet ended with bloom and boom for the digital sector. …


For the last decade, experts have called Southeast Asia the next big playground for startups. Home to more than 655 million people, most of whom are young, productive, and looking to spend — pundits have certainly enough reason to believe so. In the process, the region produced 11 unicorns, two of which are almost at decacorn status.

Still, few have exited, or have gone public as their neighbor Chinese unicorns have, that some worry the region may be creating a multi-billion bubble. In the latest Tech In Asia 2020 Report for the region, investors have expressed uneasiness on the almost…


To see the future, one just needs to look at Japan. The land of the rising sun is also the land of falling prices. This is despite the fact that the Bank of Japan discovered quantitative easing (“QE”) decades before the US Federal Reserve (“Fed”) coined the euphemistic term for money printing. Besides the prescience of Japanese-style deflation becoming the global norm, Japanese otakus (“hermits”) were also enjoying lockdowns long before it became a global phenomenon.

With the pandemic, consumption has turned anti-social and the economy has turned into an anti-sharing one. Consumers are now snapping up used cars to…


Today, Airlift is announcing our $10m Series A-1 financing led by new partners and with strong participation from existing investors, increasing our total investment to date to $24.1m USD.

Airlift’s financing round marks one of the largest capital investments in the region, at a time when the risk of a global recession is at an all-time high. The investment marks a new high for the Pakistani startup ecosystem, highlighting the unique opportunity that is prevalent in the region.

Quiet Capital, based in San Francisco, led the round with TrueSight Ventures (London), RT Ventures (London), Shorooq Partners (Abu Dhabi), and ACE…


This article was originally taken from Kay-Mok Ku’s Techinasia article (HERE)

A crisis is a disruptive event. While it may be scary, it is also when fairy tales are born. Take our current situation. Trapped inside our homes, our need for social and physical activities have created some unexpected winners:

Enter Animal Crossing. It is a decades old Nintendo franchise, a type of animated “Second Life” social game that has taken the world by storm. On the surface, the game seems to be designed for kids with their cutesy animal characters. But it is adults who are going gaga over…


Anyone who has attended classes at the Alibaba University will learn about its unique company culture of selecting a character from Louis Cha’s (金庸) martial arts novels as a personal corporate avatar. For example, Jack Ma is also known as the Lonely Nine Sword Master (独孤九剑), whose offensive skills is so good that he doesn’t need any defensive moves, since offense is his best defense, which is probably an accurate reflection of the way Mr Ma has slashed his competition in the e-commerce sector.

For the uninitiated, Cha is the Tolkien-Martin equivalent of recent Chinese fantasy writers. While Tolkien’s Ring…


I recently participated in a Southeast Asian investor panel organized by Momentum Works, where the main topic revolved around lessons learnt from previous crises and how they can be applied to VC investing during the current pandemic.

As a venture investor who has experienced the global financial crisis (GFC) up close in Southeast Asia, I held the view that we are definitely in better shape during the current situation! This is because we did not even have an active VC market in Southeast Asia back in 2008. …


March Madness, which comes in the form of college basketball in the US, manifests itself as a different type of spectator sport in Japan: cherry blossoms or sakura viewing (Hanami). The cherry blossoms bloom is unique here because of its scale — it is national — and Hanami is a centuries-old tradition — that cannot be stopped, not even by a pandemic.

Photo from Gobi’s Tokyo Hana Pitch 2017. Some participating portfolio companies include Qraved, Recommend, SupplyBunny, Offpeak, Orami, GoGoVan and Shopline

Now that Japan has gone from bloom to blast, what are some of the potential policies the country can consider to jumpstart the economy when it reopens?

1. “Black Belt Middle Road” Strategy.

Disruption from the unexpected cross-border…


While the CoVID-19 outbreak is a biological pandemic, its collateral damage is mainly psychological and economic. Without a vaccine to go to battle with such a highly transmissible beast, governments all over the world have resorted to isolationist behavioural measures. This effectively shuts down both supply and demand at the same time.

But we will get over this. Just like we got over the 1918 pandemic, which happened in the midst of a world war.

Venture capital thrives on disruption which is why our core mission is to fund unicorns. Now that a black swan has brought all unicorns to…

Gobi Partners

Innovation Without Boundaries — Connecting Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, One Emerging Market At A Time.

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