8 Fintech Investors in the Philippines You Have to Knowby Fintech News Philippines March 1, 2023
Booming digitalization and increased government support have fueled the growth of the Philippines’ fintech sector. In recent years, the country has witnessed an increase in the number of fintech startups and recorded strong growth in fintech funding activity.
In 2021, Filipino fintech startups secured a record of US$840 million in funding, up by a staggering 513% from 2020’s total of US$137 million, data from UOB show. In 2022, though investments slowed down amid a global startup funding contraction, fintech companies managed nevertheless to secure the third largest sum across ASEAN, raising a total of US$344 million.
The sector is also growing at a steadily pace, increasing from just 208 companies in 2018 to 289 in late 2022.
In this burgeoning landscape, several venture capital (VC) investment firms are standing out from the crowd for their active involvement in the space. These companies, which include independent startup-focused VC funds, joint funds and corporate venture capital (CVC) arms, have backed some of the country’s fastest-growing fintech companies.
Today, we look at eight VC firms in the Philippines that have helped shape the domestic fintech market and which are still actively looking for investment opportunities in the sector.
Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Makati, Kickstart Ventures is the corporate venture capital (CVC) investment arm of Globe Telecom, a major provider of telecommunications services in the Philippines.
Kickstart Ventures manages the country’s largest technology venture capital (VC) funds, investing globally in early- to growth-stage tech startups via three funds, including the Ayala Corporation Technology Innovation Venture Fund (ACTIVE Fund), the largest VC fund coming out of the Philippines at US$180 million.
The VC, which is backed by Globe Telecom, Ayala Corporation, and Singtel, invests in enterprise solutions and software-as-a-service (SaaS), fintech, healthtech, edtech, e-commerce and marketplace, and digital lifestyle sectors.
Kickstart Ventures has more than 40 companies in its portfolio, including Caxe, a provider of data and artificial intelligence (AI)-driven fintech solutions from Indonesia; Flex by Finaxar, a business payment and spend management solution from Singapore; LenddoEFL, an alternative credit scoring, identity verification and insights specialist from Singapore; NexPay, a business banking provider from the Philippines; and Xendit, a paytech company and unicorn startup from Indonesia.
Foxmont Capital Partners
Founded in 2018 and based in Makati, Foxmont Capital Partners is a multi-focus VC fund that invests in Filipino-focused or Filipino-founded early-stage technology startups,
The fund looks for:
- Talented management teams and entrepreneurs;
- Companies with operations in the Philippines;
- Smart and scalable business models;
- Technology-focused businesses; and
- Teams where it can add value.
Foxmont Capital Partners has 31 companies in its portfolio, including Talino, an award-winning global venture studio for inclusive fintech; Helixpay, a provider of recurring payments technology; Advance, an earned wage access (EWA) startup; Ztock, a stock trading platform for Filipinos; and NextPay.
Founded in 2021, Kaya Founders a venture studio and early-stage fund that builds and invests in digital companies in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
The firm provides follow-on investment to companies from the studio and funds promising early-stage companies from outside the studio that fit within its focus areas, which include digital commerce, healthtech, edtech and fintech.
Kaya Founders has 26 companies in its portfolio, including PayMongo, a payment gateway for businesses in the Philippines; Pemo, an all-in-one spend management solution serving businesses from the United Arab Emirates (UAE); Mochi, a business-to-business (B2B) BNPL solution for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the Philippines; Advance; and Ztock.
Founded in 2020, ADB Ventures is the CVC arm of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) based in Manila. The firm seeks to provide seed, early, and early-growth stage funding to early-stage technology companies across Asia-Pacific (APAC), focusing on bold tech ventures solving the region’s biggest unsolved problems.
ADB Ventures, which aspires to be a leading impact tech support platform in APAC, has more than 40 companies in its portfolio, including Duithape, an e-payment app for the unbanked from Indonesia; Fairbanc, an Indonesian startup providing credit to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs); Wagely, a Jakarta-based fintech that allows employees of local companies to withdraw already-earned salaries before their next payroll date; Vitraya a healthcare claim settlement platform from India; and PinBox Solutions, a global pension technology provider supporting digital micro-pension inclusion for self-employed women and youth in developing countries from Singapore.
Manila Angel Investors Network
Founded in 2016, the Manila Angel Investors Network (MAIN) is the largest private investors network in the Philippines that was formed to support the country’s startup ecosystem by connecting investors with promising early-stage companies.
MAIN invests in pre-seed, seed and Series A rounds, focusing on startups that are globally scalable, have high growth potential, address large markets, have strong competitive advantages, clear intellectual property (IP) ownership, entrepreneurial management and the potential to generate high capital gains. Apart from providing capital funding, it also mentors entrepreneurs, provides expertise support, and opens networking opportunities.
MAIN has more than 20 companies in its portfolio, including Taxumo, an online tax tool for freelancers, self-employed professionals and business owners; TangApp, an international peer-to-peer mobile transaction and payments app; and Unawa, a regtech startup from that integrates top legal and innovation expertise to make business clearer, more convenient, and cost-efficient.
JG Digital Equity Ventures
Founded in 2019, JG Digital Equity Ventures (JGDEV) is CVC arm of JG Summit Holdings, one of the Philippines’ biggest conglomerates with business interests in air transportation, banking, food manufacturing, hotels, petrochemicals, power generation, real estate, property development and telecommunications.
JGDEV looks for sustainable and scalable business models that can create value to the core businesses of the Gokongwei Group ecosystem with special focus on e-commerce, fintech and supply chain and logistics. The fund typically invests in tech startups in their early to growth stages targeting the Southeast Asian market.
JGDEV has ten companies in its portfolio including Tyme, a South Africa-based digital bank.
DayOne Capital Ventures
Founded in 2021, DayOne Capital Ventures (DCV) is an independent Philippine-based private holding company that partners with entrepreneurs across a wide range of industries, with a preference for tech-enabled startups at the seed and pre-Series A stage.
Beyond capital, the VC’s aim is to provide additional value through its existing relationships, local strategic insight, and potential synergies with existing portfolio companies.
DCV currently has nine companies in its portfolio, including Digipay, a Philippine-based business-to-business (B2B) digital payments and financial services platform.
ICCP SBI Venture Partners
ICCP SBI Venture Partners (ISVP), a partnership between leading Asian VC firms ICCP Venture Partners and SBI Holdings, invests in rapidly growing tech companies until Series B.
The joint fund focuses on sectors like fintech, logistics tech, proptech, and future of work technologies in key geographic locations such as the US, Canada, Europe, UK and Southeast Asia.
ISVP currently has nine companies in its portfolio, including PayMongo.
Featured image credit: Edited from Freepik