Top 8 Most Well-Funded Fintech Startups in the Philippines as of H2 2023

Top 8 Most Well-Funded Fintech Startups in the Philippines as of H2 2023

by August 7, 2023

The fintech sector in the Philippines has experienced significant growth in recent years, fueled by increasing adoption of digital technology and a push for improved financial inclusion.

With a population of over 110 million, a rising middle class and a large population of unbanked, the country presents a promising market for innovative fintech solutions.

This has prompted the advent of a new generation of financial services providers which are leveraging technology and digital platforms to address the various financial needs and challenges existing in the country.

To showcase the Philippines’ finest fintech companies, we’ve compiled a list of the top eight most-well funded companies in the sector. These companies are at the forefront of driving digital innovation and are poised for greater growth this year onwards. For this list, we’ve focused on venture capital (VC) funding specifically, excluding debt.

Voyager Innovations – US$712 million

Voyager Innovations

Voyager Innovations is a subsidiary of PLDT, the largest telecommunications company in the Philippines. Founded in 2013, Voyager Innovations focuses on developing digital innovations and providing digital services to empower individuals, businesses, and communities.

Voyager Innovations is the company behind PayMaya, a leading mobile wallet in the country that allows users to make cashless transactions, send and receive money, pay bills, and purchase goods and services online and in physical stores. PayMaya has become a popular payment solution in the country, enabling financial inclusion and promoting digital commerce.

Voyager Innovations also operates other digital platforms and services, including TackThis!, which provides e-commerce solutions for businesses, Smart Padala, a remittance service that allows Filipinos to send and receive money nationwide, and Maya Bank, a licensed digital bank in the Philippines providing consumers and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) with digital banking products including savings, deposits and credit.

Voyager Innovations has raised a total of US$712 million in funding, data from Statista, Dealroom and CB Insights show. Its latest round was a US$210 million growth equity VC round secured in April 2022 that brought its valuation to US$1.4 billion. The company said it would use the proceeds to launch new services for Maya Bank and expand PayMaya’s offerings with new products including cryptocurrency, micro-investments and insurance.

Voyager Innovations is now reportedly looking to raise up to US$150 million this year to support the growth of Maya Bank.

Global Fintech Innovations (Mynt) – US$475 million

Mynt Logo

Globe Fintech Innovations, commonly known as Mynt, is a subsidiary of Globe Telecom, one of the largest telco companies in the Philippines. Mynt is a leading fintech company in the country focusing on delivering innovative financial services and digital solutions.

The company operates various digital financial platforms and services in the Philippines, its most renowned being GCash, the country’s biggest mobile wallet and payment app boasting 81 million customers. GCash enables users to perform a range of financial transactions such as sending and receiving money, paying bills, purchasing goods and services, and even investing and saving money.

Mynt also offers microfinance services through Fuse Lending, a platform that provides loans to SMEs and consumers.

Mynt has raised US$475 million in funding, data from Tracxn, Crunchbase and CB Insights show. The company secured its latest round in November 2021, raising US$300 million in funding at a US$2 billion valuation. The company said it would the proceeds to further expand its digital financial services offerings.

In recent months, Mynt has been working on expanding its services worldwide. In February 2023, the GCash digital platform was approved by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to start the beta launch of its e-wallet services overseas and provide services to Filipinos in Japan, Australia, and Italy with international SIM cards.

Growsari – US$110 million

Founded in 2016, Growsari operates as a digital platform connecting sari-sari stores, or small neighborhood convenience stores, with suppliers and distributors.

Growsari acts as a digital ordering and delivery system, allowing sari-sari store owners to browse and order products directly from participating suppliers. It streamlines the procurement process, reduces the need for manual transactions, and helps store owners improve their inventory management and profitability.

Growsari also provides last-mile logistics services, offers working capital loans, and is integrated with multiple services such as telco load, bills payment, e-commerce and other digital services, allowing store-owners to maximize their capital in one wallet and easily expand their business.

In 2022, Growsari accelerated its expansion plan, opening to other regions in the Philippines and launching more hubs. The company surpassed the 250,000 mark in the total number of sari-sari stores it had served.

Moving forward, the company plans to roll out a universal digital payments QR code that would allow sari-sari stores to accept payments from across multiple wallets and banks.

Growsari has raised US$110 million in funding, its latest round being a US$77.5 million Series C secured in March 2022. The company said it would use the proceeds to expand geographically and start offering financial services and logistics.

In February 2023, Growsari was crowned as the best business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce brand across Southeast Asia, South Asia and Australia and New Zealand regions in the Asia E-Commerce Awards 2022.

Philippine Digital Asset Exchange – US$63 million

Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX) is a cryptocurrency exchange based in the Philippines that provides a platform for individuals and institutions to buy, sell, and trade various digital assets, including cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH).

PDAX aims to promote accessibility and inclusivity in the cryptocurrency market by providing a user-friendly and secure platform for Filipinos to engage in digital asset trading. The exchange allows users to fund their accounts with Philippine pesos (PHP) and facilitates seamless conversion between PHP and cryptocurrencies.

The platform offers a range of order types, including market orders and limit orders, and users can monitor real-time price movements, view order books, and execute trades according to their preferences.

PDAX raised a US$50 million Series B funding round in February 2022, bringing its total funding to about US$63 million. The company said it would use the proceeds to cater to the growing non-fungible token (NFT) and play-to-earn markets in the Philippines, improve customer experience, and continue “building safe and accessible infrastructure for the digital asset economy,” PDAX CEO and founder Nichel Gaba said.

The platform reached 800,000 users at the end of 2022.

PayMongo – US$46 million

Founded in 2019, PayMongo provides online payment solutions for businesses in the Philippines. The company offers a payment gateway that allows merchants to accept online payments easily and securely.

PayMongo enables businesses to accept various payment methods, including credit and debit cards, e-wallets and bank deposits. By integrating PayMongo’s payment gateway into their websites or applications, businesses can offer their customers a seamless and convenient way to make online payments.

The platform provides features such as one-click payments, recurring billing, and fraud detection tools to enhance the payment experience for both businesses and customers. It also offers a user-friendly dashboard that allows merchants to track and manage their transactions, generate reports, and gain insights into their sales performance.

PayMongo raised US$31 million in Series B funding in February 2022, bringing its total funding to just under US$46 million. The company said it would use the proceeds to further develop PayMongo’s current payments infrastructure and add more financial services, including disbursements, capital lending, buy now, pay later (BNPL), and subscriptions and recurring payments.

PayMongo also plans to acquire new licenses that would allow it to operate more financial services. At the same time, the company is exploring regional expansion.

First Circle – US$28.5 million

First Circle

Founded in 2016, First Circle is a Filipino fintech company specializing in innovative financing solutions for SMEs. The company aims to address the funding gap faced by these businesses by offering fast and accessible working capital loans.

First Circle leverages technology and data analytics to streamline the loan application and approval process, making it quicker and more efficient compared with traditional lending institutions to apply for and secure funding.

The company utilizes alternative data sources, such as business transaction history and customer feedback, to assess the creditworthiness of SMEs, allowing it to extend financing to businesses that may have difficulty obtaining loans from traditional banks.

First Circle provides business loans through its Credit Line offering, which helps businesses fund expansion, cover cash flow gaps, and extend their working capital. It offers flexible repayment terms, and the loan amounts are based on the business’s financial profile and requirements.

First Circle has raised about US$28.5 million in funding. The company secured its latest round in October 2018, pulling in a US$26 million Series A as it begins to consider regional expansion options. It had previously raised US$2.5 million, including a US$1.3 million seed round in 2017.

Advance Tech Lending – US$16 million

Advance Tech Lending

Founded in 2018, Advance Tech Lending is a salary on-demand provider. The company provides short-term, multipurpose salary advances to all eligible employees without the fixed long tenors or high minimum loan amounts. The application process is all online and takes seconds, and disbursement is instant upon approval.

In five years, Advance Tech Lending has earned the trust of over 200 companies in the country, including major industry players like Sitel Philippines, Inspiro, Cebuana Lhuillier, and ePerformax, to provide on-demand financial services to their employees.

The company has recently expanded its offering to include other credit solutions and financial wellness and education products from its business partners.

Advance Tech Lending raised US$16 million in a Pre-Series A funding in March 2023 and expanded its operations to Vietnam through the acquisition of BravoHr, a platform that provides digital solutions for employee engagement, benefits, and rewards. BravoHr’s key clients include some of the biggest global brands like McDonalds, L’Oreal and AstraZeneca.

The startup plans to use the new funds to roll out more innovative financial products and expand the reach of its services to include more businesses in the Philippines and Vietnam.

First Digital Finance Corporation – US$15 million

First Digital Finance Corporation

Founded in 2015, First Digital Finance Corporation is a fintech company based in Manila which uses artificial intelligence (AI) and digital processes to meet the needs of Filipino consumer for easier and more affordable credit.

First Digital Finance Corporation operates several platforms, including Balikbayad, a platform that provides loans to overseas Filipino workers and seamen, and BillEase, a BNPL platform and the company’s flagship product.

BillEase offers installment payment solutions to consumers in the Philippines. The platform, which primarily operates through partnerships with various merchants, both online and offline, aims to provide accessible and flexible financing options, allowing individuals to make purchases and pay in installments.

Through BillEase, customers can apply for installment plans, receive instant approval decisions, and track their payments and remaining balances. The company utilizes data analytics and alternative credit scoring methods to assess the creditworthiness of applicants, making it possible for more individuals to access financing options.

BillEase is currently available as a payment method at more than 500 merchants, as well as through payment gateways such as Xendit, Paynamics, 2C2P, Dragonpay and BUX.

The company raised US$11 million in a Series B funding round in January 2022 to accelerate BillEase’s customer growth, enhance and develop new products, and attract top talent. The round brought its total funding to US$15 million.