Filipino First

Copy of News



GOBI CORE PHILIPPINE FUND leads Seed Round investment in Mariahealth and

The investments mark Gobi’s first venture into the Philippines


MANILA, 22 JAN, 2019 – The GOBI CORE PHILIPPINE FUND, announced today that it has invested in Philippine companies MariaHealth and The Fund is a joint venture between Gobi Partners and Core Capital. These deals are the first investments by Gobi in the Philippine market.

Launched in October 2018, the Fund offers Philippine startups region-wide expertise and a network that will help them expand to other Asian markets. Ken Ngo, Managing Partner of Core Capital said, “We’re looking to invest not only in founders who we believe in, but also in companies that are doing something relevant to address the biggest needs of our fellow Filipinos.”

In addition to providing crucial seed capital to startups, the Fund also aims to provide a boost to the Philippine entrepreneurial scene.

Thomas G. Tsao, Founding Partner of Gobi Partners, commented on the investments saying, “With a population of 120 million, the Philippines is the second largest country in ASEAN, but has been overlooked by venture capitalists. We think that’s about to change, and we’re thrilled that we can get in on the ground floor of the digital transformation that is sweeping across the Philippines.”


Founded in 2016, MariaHealth is the brainchild of Vincent Lau and Anna Yu, who, after visiting the Philippines, realized how difficult and inefficient it was for Filipinos to get health insurance. Health insurance has in fact become an expensive critical problem in the country, with eight of 10 Filipinos being reported as never having any medical check-ups in their lifetime; there is also limited access to traditional intermediaries for people.

With this funding, MariaHealth is looking to tackle these issues by expanding its online one-stop health platform, with the end goal being to provide simple and easily accessible healthcare to every Filipino.


In the education sector, has the aim of empowering 10 Million annual student visitors to make better informed choices for their education, career, and life. The company was founded in 2013 by Henry Muñoz after he saw the poor life outcomes of Filipino youth, despite them having spent billions on education. To date, has been solving the gaps between education and employment among the next generation through their educational online platform.

Speaking on the investment by Gobi-Core, Henry said, “We are excited to be partnering with Gobi-Core and leveraging on their experience and network in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as their Philippine-specific expertise. This funding will prove invaluable as we continue to expand our product offerings, and strive to grow our reach nationwide.”

Core Capital Partner, Jason Gaisano, further expounded on how these investments into MariaHealth and will bring outside interest to the Philippine startup ecosystem, which is also in line with Gobi-Core’s mission to expose Philippine-based startups to more global markets. “We will continue to provide exposure and networking for the next wave of companies, and are eager to make the next batch of investments through this Fund.”

Gobi Partners and Core Capital Launch a $10 Million Fund for Philippine Startups


 OCTOBER 9, MANILA -- Core Capital has partnered with Gobi Partners, a top Asian venture capital (VC) firm with over $1.1 Billion in Assets Under Management (AUM), to launch a $10 Million fund dedicated to support seed-stage and pre-Series A companies in the Philippines.

 The Gobi-Core Philippine Fund (the PH Fund) will be co-managed by Core Capital, a new VC based in the Philippines founded by Carlo Delantar, Jason Gaisano, and its Managing Partner Ken Ngo. The Fund’s initial focus is on B2B e-commerce, platform-as-a-service (PaaS), health tech and logistics companies, and plans to expand into others sectors including travel, entertainment and retail tech in the future.

 Gobi Partners, led by its Founding Partner Thomas G. Tsao, its managing partner Kay-Mok Ku, and supported by its teams across China, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia will contribute its proven track record, tested processes and best practices to provide fund administration, advisory and investment support to this new partnership.

 Speaking on the PH Fund, Thomas G. Tsao said, “We are very excited to make our first foray into the country together with Core Capital. We’ve been consistently amazed by the level of entrepreneurial talent in the Philippines. The same growth patterns that occurred in China and Indonesia are now happening in the Philippines.”

 Core Capital Managing Partner Ken Ngo adds, “We believe in the Philippines, and at the same time, we also understand that there’s still so much that we can learn from other countries and VCs. With this partnership with Gobi, we are confident that we can strategically connect local and regional stakeholders. The creation of the Gobi-Core PH Fund puts us in a unique position to add value and support founders in the country’s growing startup ecosystem.”

 Both Core and Gobi believe that there’s more to this partnership than just the establishment and management of the PH Fund. Now, Philippine-based startups will have access and can also leverage not just on Core’s vast Philippine network and business operating experience but also Gobi’s regional platform to help them scale across China and other Southeast Asian countries.

Founded in 2002, Gobi has invested in many key emerging sectors through its ten funds under management and 200 companies in its portfolio.

Despite its 16-year history, this will be Gobi’s first entry into the Philippines and the newly launched PH Fund shall act on Core and Gobi’s belief in the favorable timing, the potential of the country’s economy and the growing purchasing power of its young population.



We are very excited to make our first foray into the country together with Core Capital. We’ve been consistently amazed by the level of entrepreneurial talent in the Philippines. The same growth patterns that occurred in China and Indonesia are now happening in the Philippines.
— Thomas Tsao
en-logo (1).png