The Malaysian conglomerate's CVC plans to raise external capital in the future, potentially giving foreign investors access to the Southeast Asian tech ecosystem.

Gimo workers with signs showing the company name and hashtags in Vietnamese
Last month Genting Ventures took part in Vietnamese pay cheque access platform Gimo’s $12m series A round. Image courtesy of Gimo.

Genting Ventures stands out when compared to its peers in Southeast Asia thanks to its parent firm’s reach across various sectors, Josie Lai, head of Malaysian conglomerate Genting Group’s corporate venturing arm, tells Global Corporate Venturing.

Genting Group operates across several industries such as casino, real estate, energy and life sciences. Few corporates in the casino and hospitality industry actively invest in Southeast Asian startups.

Photo of Josie Lai, head, Genting Ventures
Josie Lai, head, Genting Ventures.
Photo courtesy of LinkedIn.

“That gives us a very unique position in terms of credibility and the resources that we can provide to the entrepreneurs,” Lai says.

Launched in 2019, Genting Ventures runs a financially driven fund targeting gaming, hospitality, agtech, fintech and foodtech. Overall, it manages about $80m, drawing some funds from Genting’s balance sheet for certain strategic investments. In the future, the unit hopes to bring in external limited partners as well.

Although Genting Ventures invests globally with a portfolio spanning across the US, Europe and northern Asia, it has a strong emphasis on Southeast Asia. The unit has scored three exits including, a Singaporean restaurant management platform, in an acquisition.

Financial returns come first

Genting Ventures has some 20 portfolio companies, in addition to a legacy portfolio it manages for its parent firm. It has also invested in unnamed VC funds that invest in Southeast Asian fintech, global mobile gaming, web3 and Indonesian startups.

The venture unit prioritises financial returns before strategic considerations. While the parent firm occasionally provides its resources to the unit’s portfolio companies and forms specific commercial partnerships, Genting Ventures plays a neutral role.

Lai says the unit facilitates introductions between business units and portfolio companies, but its contribution generally involves introducing innovative technologies that hold potential benefits for Genting and its business units.

Collaborations between portfolio companies and Genting

While Genting Ventures focuses on financial returns, the unit also introduces later-stage gaming companies to its parent company’s subsidiaries, particularly its US divisions such as its hotel, entertainment and retail business Resorts World in New York and Las Vegas.

Gaming Analytics, a San Francisco-based casino analytics platform, and Sightline, a cashless payment platform in Las Vegas, are among the portfolio companies that were introduced to Genting’s US businesses.

In Southeast Asia, Genting Ventures facilitates partnerships between foodtech startups and restaurants operated at Genting’s resorts. Indonesian fresh food marketplace DishServe and TabSquare are a couple of examples.

Indonesia has been a crucial market for Genting Ventures, which has invested in companies such as online sports platform Evos Esports and farming digitalisation technology company Eratani.

But, as Indonesia’s ecosystem becomes more mature, valuations are rising. Lai and her team are exploring other markets in Southeast Asia such as Vietnam where valuations are lower. Last month, Genting Ventures invested in Gimo, a Vietnamese fintech company that helps underbanked workers to receive pay cheques.

It is also considering expanding in other Asian countries. Philippines and Malaysia – where the corporate parent is headquartered – are potential markets for Genting Ventures, where its global presence can help entrepreneurs expand beyond the region, says Lai.

Deals involving Genting Ventures

Companies Description HQ location Round Round size ($m) Deal date Investors
Bukalapak is an Indonesian e-commerce company. Indonesia G 400 05/01/2021 BRI Ventures, Elang Mahkota Teknologi, Genting Ventures, GIC (Singapore), Mandiri Capital Indonesia, Naver, SC Ventures, Standard Chartered
Sightline Payments Provider of electronic payments and mobile application development services designed to help gaming industries move towards a cashless system.  Las Vegas, US  N/A 100 01/04/2021 Cannae Holdings, Genting Ventures, Point Break Capital, Searchlight Capital Partners, Shift4 Ventures, Vectr Ventures
Transak Developer of a cryptocurrency payment platform intended to facilitate the buying and selling of crypto assets with a bank transfer. New York, US A 20 30/05/2023 Animoca Brands, Axelar, Azimut Investment Management, CE Innovation Capital, Charles Delingpole, Genting Ventures, IOSG Ventures, Istari Ventures, Jan Hammer, KX Systems, LAUNCHub Ventures, MZ Web3 Fund, No Limit Holdings, Sandeep Nailwal, SBI Ven Capital, Signum Growth Capital, Suji Yan, The LAO, Third Kind Venture Capital, Tokentus, UOB Venture Management, Woodstock Fund
Gimo Developer of financial software designed for payroll solutions and services to employees and businesses. Vietnam A 17.1 24/07/2023 AlteriQ Global, Blauwpark Partners, Genting Ventures, George Kent (Malaysia), Integra Partners (Singapore), Resolution Ventures, ThinkZone Ventures, TKG Ventures, TNB Aura, Y Combinator
Evos Esports Developer of an online sports platform intended to build the landscape for e-sports. Indonesia B 14.8 09/03/2021 Genting Ventures, Indogen Capital, Insignia Venture Partners, Korea Investment Partners, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, Motoya Investment Asia, Woowa Brothers
Cellmeat Producer of cultured meat intended to create sustainable meat without animal slaughter. South Korea A 13.11 25/05/2023 BNK Venture Capital, Genting Ventures, NAU IB Capital, NH Venture Investment, Strong Ventures, Wonik Investment Partners, Yukyung PSG Asset Management
Hoolah Provider of payment services intended to permit consumers to buy now and pay later.  Singapore A 9.5 05/03/2020 Allectus Capital, Genting Ventures, iGlobe Partners, Maximilian Bittner, Tim Neville
Eratani Developer of financial support and education platform designed to digitise upstream and downstream processes. Indonesia  N/A 7.39 10/07/2023 AgFunder, Ascend Angels, BIG Ventures, Genting Ventures, Orvel Ventures, SBI Ven Capital, TNB Aura, Trihill Capital Operator of a restaurant management platform intended to leverage consumer data and deep learning algorithms in the food and business industry. Singapore B 7.2 10/10/2018 Ax Ventures, Coca-Cola Amatil, Genting Ventures, InnoVen Capital,, MAVM Angels Network, Resorts World, Walden International
Jatri Developer of bus ticketing and tracking platform intended to help commuters travel better. Bangladesh A 5.2 15/04/2023 Alsa Ventures, Brain Too Free Ventures, Dallas Venture Capital, Doha Tech Angels, Genting Ventures, Reflect Ventures, Sabr Capital, SBK Tech, Tocumsef Capital
Oddin Developer of esports betting technologies designed to provide esports odds feed and risk management services. Czech Republic A 4.5 16/08/2022 Genting Ventures, Presto Ventures, Velo Partners
Fasal Developer of an artificial intelligence-powered internet of things platform designed to simplify the process of cultivating crops. India A 4.25 22/11/2021 3one4 Capital, Antares Capital, Genting Ventures, Omnivore Capital Management, Sandeep Singhal, Wavemaker Partners, Yield Lab
Beryllium Developer of fantasy market games intended to blend the worlds of sports and finance. Singapore  N/A 3.6 05/04/2021 Bullpen Capital, Genting Ventures, Velo Partners
PasarMikro Operator of an agro-trading platform intended to support Indonesian farmers through their agricultural commodity marketplace software.  Indonesia  N/A 2.5 04/11/2022 1982 Ventures, Genting Ventures, Resolution Ventures, Trihill Capital
PlayStudios PlayStudios develops and operates online and mobile social gaming applications, many of which incorporate a loyalty program offering real-world rewards provided by a collection of awards Las Vegas, US C1 2.47 11/07/2018 Genting Ventures
Gaming Analytics Developer of casino analytics platform designed for casino operators to access and analyze data. Novato, US N/A  2.4 17/05/2019 Genting Ventures
Esports Players League Operator of a global media network intended to organize sports tournaments and events. Singapore  N/A 2.26 11/05/2021 Genting Ventures, iCandy Interactive, Infinity Ventures Crypto, Puncak Geliga Capital, RightBridge Ventures, Sedania Innovator, Warner Music Group
Avant Meats Developer of a biotechnology platform designed for the production of fish and functional marine proteins directly from fish cells. Hong Kong, China A2 2.1 01/02/2023 AngelHub, Genting Ventures, Plantbase VC, S2G Ventures, SGInnovate
DishServe Developer of a cloud kitchen platform designed to upgrade underutilized kitchens to deliver food without providing a dining area. Indonesia  N/A 1.05 09/11/2021 300x Ventures, Genting Ventures, Insignia Venture Partners, MyAsiaVC, Ratio Ventures, Rutland Ventures, Stonewater Ventures
Pass3 (formerly Play3) Developer of a web3 platform intended to bridge traditional gamers toward blockchain gaming. Singapore  N/A  N/A 19/05/2022 Bora Chain, Genting Ventures, Shima Capital, Sino Global Capital
*Exited investments in boldface
Source: PitchBook


Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.