China and Singapore-based Gobi Partners said that it has exited its minority stake in CIB Development, an online operator of games in Malaysia and Singapore. The buyer was publicly traded gaming firm Asiasoft. Gobi says the deal achieved a 60% IRR for its Gobi Singapore Fund.
Gobi Partners, a venture firm based in China and Singapore, has achieved a 60% IRR for its Gobi Singapore Fund with the sale of its minority stake in CIB Development, a leading online operator of games in Malaysia and Singapore, to Asiasoft, a leading Southeast Asian online gaming firm listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. The total consideration for the transaction is SGD11 million in cash, for 61.7% of CIB Development, which is held by Gobi and a consortium of angel investors. The sale has been approved by both Asiasoft and CIB.
Gobi invested into CIB in 2011 and assisted the company on trade sale opportunities in China as well as preparations for an IPO on the Malaysian ACE market. “Gobi is celebrating its 10th year anniversary this year and first expanded to Southeast Asia in 2010 with the setup of the Singapore office,” said KU Kay Mok, Partner of Gobi Singapore. “We have been on the lookout for promising regional companies in Southeast Asia that can leverage on our prior experience in the Chinese IT and digital media sectors and found that in CIB. Gobi’s deep relationships with online game operators probably accelerated the move to take an interest in CIB’s valuable expertise and networks before others did.”
The acquisition will more than double Asiasoft’s existing Malaysian online game market share from 17% to 43%, and allow it to continue to strengthen its footprint in Southeast Asia. The management team at CIB will stay and run the combined Asiasoft – CIB operations in Malaysia.
Alan Ku, Managing Director of CIB said, “We were at the stage where we wanted an experienced venture firm to help add value. We decided to bring in Gobi, and they advocated a dual track strategy of preparing for an IPO while also exploring partnership opportunities. We are very happy with this outcome. It’s a real win-win-win situation; good for CIB, good for Asiasoft, and good for investors.”
Founded in 2002, Gobi Partners is a venture capital firm with its headquarters and incubation center in Shanghai, additional offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, and Tianjin, as well as an overseas office in Singapore. A leading investor in early stage IT, digital media and technology companies in China, Gobi manages five funds with over US$300 million under management. Since its establishment, Gobi has funded more than forty early to traction stage companies and continues to invest actively in the region. Established in 2010, the Gobi Singapore Fund has also invested into Time Voyager, a game developer from Southeast Asia which was the first from the region to secure a publishing relationship with a major Chinese game publisher, and Apps Foundry, which operates one of the largest mobile Internet publishing platforms in Indonesia called Scoop. For more information, please visit: www.gobivc.com
CIB is an online game operator founded by Alan Ku in Malaysia in 2003, when very few compelling online game titles were published locally. It was common at that time for local players to log into overseas servers in order to play online games, so CIB was started with the vision that there is an untapped market for game titles that can be localised to suit preferences of domestic players. In 2003, the company was the first publisher in Malaysia to offer a fully localised 3D Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (“MMORPG”) called “Risk Your Life”. Today, CIB has various game genres in its interactive online game portfolio, ranging from first-person shooting games, casual dancing games and cute cartoon-based games, to martial arts novel-based MMORPGs. CIB has also published game titles in Singapore, with plans to enter the Indonesian market.