Warburg-backed Converge ICT said to explore partnership with SpaceX

Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), speaks at the unveiling of the Manned Dragon V2 Space Taxi in Hawthorne, California, U.S., on Thursday, May 29, 2014. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Converge ICT Solutions, a Warburg Pincus-backed fibre-optic broadband service provider in the Philippines, is exploring a possible satellite technologies venture with various firms, including Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX).

However, the Philippine-listed company stressed that it is still premature to talk about a possible partnership with SpaceX at this stage, downplaying local reports that said it is already in talks with the broadband satellite provider.

“The latest satellite technologies, including that of SpaceX, are among those new technologies being explored by Converge to bring high-speed broadband to far-flung areas in the country,” Converge said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Talks surface at a time when SpaceX continues to deploy Starlink satellites, which orbit the planet at lower altitudes, promising more stable internet. Starlink is already accepting pre-order on a first-come, first-served approach. In the Philippines, Starlink said it will start deploying its Low Earth Orbit satellite internet service by 2022.

According to various reports, Starlink now has over 1,000 working satellites in orbit and targets to have 42,000 satellites by mid-2027.

Converge assures the exchange and its investors that it will promptly make the necessary disclosures should there be any material developments in its exploratory talks with possible partners.

The company has 750,000 residential customers mostly in and around the capital Manila. Founded in 2012 by businessman Dennis Uy, who is the current CEO, Converge ICT is the largest high-speed fixed broadband operator in the Philippines, with 54 per cent market share of high-speed residential fixed broadband subscriptions as of March 2020.

American private equity giant Warburg Pincus is a minority shareholder in the company – it invested $225 million in the company in July 2019. Warburg Pincus has a long track record of investing in the technology, media, and telecommunications sector, with select marque investments including Bharti/Airtel, Inexio, Ziggo, and Crowdstrike.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.