Nearly 100 startups funded, PH community gains momentum

visual from Kickstart's Facebook page

With almost 100 startups funded in the last three years, the Philippine startup community — branded as #startupPH — has become a force to reckon with, according to local investment firm Kickstart Ventures.

Led by its president Minette Navarrete, Kickstart reported that although startups existed in the Philippines for over a decade, the local startup scene has received a significant boost from the first quarter of 2012 onward. This “boost” includes funding or grants by institutional investors to a number of these startups, and an equal number being supported by the various angel investor, who are supporting entrepreneurs in a private capacity.

 

Also Read: Philippines gives more time to startups: Arup Maity

 

“A number of these funded startups have received follow-on funding, and reputable investors from overseas; who have started to participate in these early funding rounds,” Navarrete said, noting about 40 per cent of Kickstart portfolio companies have gotten third-party follow-on funding.

Created by telecom giant Globe Telecom as incubator-investment firm, Kickstart reported that over 60 startups have received some funding mainly from local funds. The support also came with the co-investment of overseas funds like IMJ Investment Partners, Wavemaker Labs, Omidyar Network, Y-Combinator, and 500 Startups.

 

Also Read: 11 Philippine startups that stood out in 2014

 

She added that the bootstrapped startups are also making progress, proving that external funding is a boost, but not a necessity for success.

“We are thrilled to see the progress each one achieves,” Navarrete said. “A win for any startup here is a win for the entire community.”

Kickstart cited some tech startups in its portfolio that already achieved innovation milestones, such as recruitment platform Kalibrr, app-maker and first listed local startup Xurpas, online platform for the underbanked Lenddo, and mobile health startup mClinica.

 

Also Read: Investors warm up to Xurpas, shares up 50% on opening day

 

Besides Kickstart’s 19 startup portfolio, there are other local incubators and accelerators that acquired a varied portfolio of startups. These include, Smart Communication Inc’s IdeaSpace that has 22 startups; Future Now Ventures that has 13 startups; and Spring.ph, which has a 25 statup portfolio.

Among the fresh milestones achieved by local startups were the People’s Choice Award at the World Startup Competition in Korea won by SAlt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting), the Seedstars World Best Startup 2014 by Salarium for their payroll SaaS solution, and the Hack Osaka Award 2015 grand prize by mClinica.

 

Also Read: SALt wins People’s Choice award at SNS

 

Kickstart explained the increase of startups could be attributed to the country’s young, techie population wherein more than half of the over 100 million Filipinos are below 30 years old.

“The Philippines currently boasts of 101 per cent mobile penetration and 52 per cent broadband penetration rate, as well as extremely high social media penetration of 97 per cent for Facebook and 81 per cent for Twitter,” Kickstart said.

Navarette said although there’s a lot of hype, the Philippines need infrastructure that supports startup enterprises, more mature talents to develop, patient mentors, various investors, and most especially results and traction, and ROI.

“As a country, we have to rise and find solutions that perhaps do not exist today. The traditional business models that brought us to where we are today are not going to work in the future. The future has to be invented,” Navarrete added.

 

Related Stories:

PH startup mClinica wins Hack Osaka 2015, eyes Vietnam launch

PH startup Salarium wins $500k Seedstars prize

IdeaSpace grows portfolio to 22 Cos in 2014

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.