Malaysia-based ethical investment and social finance platform operator Ethis Group has partnered with acclaimed VC firm Gobi Partners to launch a US $ 20 million Shariah-compatible start-up fund.
Once launched, the Joint Fund will invest in Shariah-compliant startups globally with an initial geographical focus in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) and ASEAN regions.
The partnership aims to capture the growth of startups in the Halal economy, where startups comply with sharia law, and thus their products are built to serve a large Muslim community.
Furthermore, the fund’s focus on the broader ethical investment agenda is well in line with the post-pandemic emphasis on environmental, social, governance and sustainable investment, which also extends beyond the Muslim community.
The fund aims to make the first closure before the end of this year.
Read also: Ethis Global closes US $ 1.7M Pre-Series A funding round to accelerate global expansion efforts
This is Ethis Group’s first step into the venture investment area and Gobi’s first fully Shariah-compliant fund ever. The collaboration combines Gobi Partners (which has $ 1.5 billion in assets under management across North Asia, South Asia and ASEAN) as a guiding venture, with Ethis’ growing fintech investments and crowdfunding platforms in Indonesia, Malaysia and Oman.
“The establishment of this joint fund will allow us to channel investment to tech startups that drive change and make an impact. Venture capital is in high demand and well-suited for ethical investment,” said Mohamed Shehzad Bin Mohamed Islam, CEO of Ethis Investment Platform.
Founded in 2002 (with dual headquarters in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong), Gobi Partners supports entrepreneurs from the early to emerging markets and focuses on emerging and underserved markets. It has raised 15 funds, invested in over 320 startups and cared for nine unicorns, including Carsome.
In 2016, Gobi launched its TaqwaTech vertical, which focuses on investing in Islamic ventures and the global Muslim economy.
“Muslim consumers represent a market opportunity of $ 2.2 trillion, and the Muslim community is expected to make up more than 31 percent of the world population by 2060. However, the digital needs of the community are largely unmet or underserved. Through this partnership with Ethis and the creation of this dedicated fund, we will now be able to fund, nurture and support even more Muslim entrepreneurs, ”said Gobi co-founder Thomas Tsao.
Ethis Group operates crowd-pleasing platforms approved by regulators in Indonesia, Malaysia and Oman. Its platforms serve ordinary people, high net worth individuals, businesses and government entities.
It recently launched EthisX, a cross-border ethical private capital market platform. EthisX aims to address the lack of availability of Shariah-compliant and ethical alternative funding and funding in new and developed non-Muslim countries with a sufficiently large Muslim population.
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