PLDT, KKR, Tencent, IFC and IFC Emerging Asia Fund Commit up to Us$120mn of New Investments in the Philippines’ Voyager Innovations
PLDT Inc. (NYSE: PHI|PSE: TEL), the Philippines’ leading telecommunications and digital services provider, KKR, a global investment firm, Tencent, a leading provider of internet value-added services in China, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the IFC Emerging Asia Fund, a fund managed by IFC Asset Management Company, today announced the signing of agreements under which PLDT, KKR, Tencent, IFC and IFC Emerging Asia Fund commit up to US$120 million in new funding towards the expansion efforts of Voyager Innovations (“Voyager” or the “Company”), a leading technology company in the Philippines.
This follows KKR’s, Tencent’s, IFC’s and IFC Emerging Asia Fund’s initial investments totaling US$215 million made to Voyager in 2018, and underscores the investors’ support of Voyager and its strategy to provide greater access to digital financial services across the Philippines through its financial technology arm, PayMaya Philippines (“PayMaya”). The fresh funding also comes as government, businesses and consumers are turning to cashless transactions and digital finance as part of a broader response to present-day challenges.
This US$120 million investment is part of a broader fundraise for Voyager and is intended to support PayMaya’s rapid growth as it pursues its mission to accelerate digital and financial inclusion in the Philippines and enable the wider Filipino population to participate in the digital economy. The Company is also in talks with other strategic and financial investors.
PLDT, KKR, IFC, IFC Emerging Asia Fund and Tencent said in a joint statement: “This fresh round of investment is a testament to Voyager’s success in providing Filipinos with access to convenient, relevant and inclusive digital financial services through PayMaya. This is also a recognition of the significant role that the Philippine financial technology industry can play in providing meaningful digital solutions to many of the crucial and very-human challenges that the Philippine community faces today.”
Orlando B. Vea, CEO and Founder of Voyager Innovations, said: “In line with the country’s goals, we have made significant strides in spurring cashless adoption in a largely unbanked population. This funding boosts PayMaya’s ability to reach more Filipinos, especially as access to digital financial services becomes even more important.”
Shailesh Baidwan, President of Voyager Innovations and PayMaya Philippines, said: “Today, more than ever, our end-to-end digital financial services are becoming more relevant and embedded in the daily lives of Filipinos – from sending money, buying airtime load, or paying for purchases through our PayMaya wallet, bridging the unbanked and underserved via mobile remittance through our over 27,000 Smart Padala partner touchpoints in communities, to enabling payment acceptance for all kinds of merchants. This investment will enable us to better support our financial inclusion thrust, while allowing us to expand to adjacent services.”
Voyager’s PayMaya is the only end-to-end digital payments ecosystem enabler in the Philippines with platforms and services that cuts across consumers, merchants, and government. Aside from providing the payments acceptance for the largest e-Commerce, food, retail and gas merchants in the Philippines, PayMaya is enabling national and social services agencies as well as local government units with digital payments and disbursement services.
Through its PayMaya app and wallet, it is providing millions of Filipinos with the fastest way to own a financial account with over 40,000 Add Money touchpoints nationwide, more than double the total number of traditional bank branches in the Philippines combined. Its Smart Padala by PayMaya agent network serves as last mile digital financial hubs in communities, providing the unbanked and underserved with access to services.
Most recently, Voyager’s PayMaya launched its #OneAgainstCOVID19 drive to enable donations online, via mobile app, and QR to help various humanitarian organizations such as the Philippine Red Cross, UNICEF, Oxfam Pilipinas, UP PGH Medical Foundation, and Caritas Manila in relief efforts for the most vulnerable segments of the Philippine population affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
KKR’s follow-on investment in Voyager Innovations is being funded from KKR Asian Fund III.