Kickstart invests in Cogito, takes portfolio in PH to 20 startups

Cogito is a SaaS platform (visual from the website)

Kickstart Ventures Inc has made an undisclosed seed investment in software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform Cogito, increasing its portfolio in the Philippines to twenty startups.

The investment from Kickstart comes within two weeks of its parent – Globe Telecom – injecting up to $50 million into it, to fund more startups, both in Philippines and abroad. Referred to as “Fund 2″, the latest amount was far higher than Kickstart’s $2.4 million seed fund or “Fund 1′, which was focused on seed and early-stage startups, since its founding, in year 2012.

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Kickstart said that Cogito is a SaaS platform that allows companies to easily create and automate customized business workflows. It converts paper, email, or spreadsheet-based processes to online workflows in minutes with no programming required.

“Kickstart is the only investor for this round and Cogito plans to use their seed funding for business development, marketing, and growing its customer base,” the investment firm said.

Kickstart president Minette Navarette said Cogito’s business has genuine potential to scale beyond the Philippines, and to become a platform for other enterprise SaaS applications.

“They operate in a space that Kickstart is interested in, that is Enterprise-grade Software-as-a-Service. Cogito is, in fact, already used by enterprise clients like manufacturing and marketing, including banks,” Navarette said. “The team is well-balanced, and suited to the industry they are in.”

Cogito was co-founded by software enthusiasts Gian Paulo G de la Rama, and Aldrich and Ana Abrogena in mid-2013.

De La Rama told DEALSTREETASIA that the seed funding is just enough for its planned developments for this year.

He said the company will use the funds to market Cogito and for growing their team by hiring more sales and marketing people to be followed by UI/UX talents.

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“We expect growth in terms of users and utilization of the platform and greater visibility across the region. Then we can move on to new features and capabilities,” he said, noting the company will focus first on its local expansion.

“We are very thankful for their (Kickstart) decision because of three things. First is we’ll get to learn from world class mentors and our fellow founders, second is we get access to their corporate parents – Globe, Ayala and SingTel for potential partnerships and their funding will prepare us for additional opportunities brought about by the ASEAN 2015 integration,” De La Rama added.

Globe tagged its latest VC fund of $50 million as “Fund 2” and is likely to announce more investments soon, as it aims to contribute to the growth of high-potential startups across the world with clear regional and global prospects.

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