PH property developer Megaworld forms tech investment unit

Visual of one of the Megaworld realty projects, from the company website

Philippine-listed property developer Megaworld has officially announced its foray into digital technology investments with the launch of Agile Digital Ventures that has an initial allocation of $5 million.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Wednesday, the Andrew Tan-led property giant said the launch of Agile Digital Ventures is Megaworld’s response to the opportunities brought about by changes in consumer behaviour and lifestyle.

Agile Digital Ventures will invest in the country’s food, retail, and hospitality startups, said Kevin Tan, chief strategy officer of Megaworld and President of the new arm.

Agile made its first investment in Pick.A.Roo, an on-demand premium lifestyle delivery app co-founded by Crystal Gonzalez, the former Philippine operations head of Singapore-headquartered grocery delivery app Honestbee.

Gonzales now sits as a chief operating officer and board member at Agile while Tan is a co-founder at Pick.A.Roo.

The homegrown app allows customers to purchase products ranging from food, gadgets, hardware, kitchenware, children’s toys and stuff, pet care, personal care, medicines, office and school supplies, hotel dishes, liquor, and COVID-19 essentials from over 300 local and international merchants.

The orders can be delivered on-demand or on a later schedule.

Aside from Pick.A.Roo, Agile is also looking for other investment opportunities in digital technology platforms that will further boost Megaworld’s core businesses, according to Tan.

Kevin Tan is the son of Philippine business tycoon Andrew Tan, the chairman and founder of Megaworld. The real estate giant has 26 townships and mixed-use communities around the Philippines, composed of over 700 residential developments, over 60 office towers, 20 lifestyle malls, and 11 hotels.

With Agile Digital Ventures, Megaworld now joins a number of Philippine conglomerates that are venturing into the venture investments.

Last year, Philippine-listed conglomerate Ayala Corporation launched a $150-million fund that invests globally in new technologies, particularly in e-commerce, fintech, and healthtech. The fund – Ayala Corporation Technology Innovation Venture (Active Fund) – is managed by Kickstart Ventures.

Another listed conglomerate, JG Summit Holdings, also launched a $50-million arm – JG Digital Equity Ventures – to invest in Series A and B rounds of Southeast Asian digital and emerging tech startups.

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.