Referred to as “Fund 2”, the latest amount is way bigger 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.
Globe said Fund 2 is expected to help drive the rapid growth of high-potential startups across the world with clear regional and global prospects.
Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu made the announcement about Fund 2 in a meeting with Kickstart leaders in the latter’s headquarters in Makati City.
“In the Philippines, I have yet to see a startup break through in a big way, not because of lack of talent but because the whole sector is devoid of support. Large tech incumbents operate well here, but startups struggle,” Cu said. “Globe has been finding and working with smaller, innovative startups to boost the quality of its customer experience, with very good results. So good that they get acquired by large global companies at respectably higher valuations.”
Cu added that with the clear potential, Globe believes that Kickstart can use the VC fund to help the telco’s startup partners to scale even faster via an equity investment.
Also read: Kickstart’s startups raise $8.6m in 2014
“For Fund 1, Kickstart also recently received a $1.1 million (Php50M) top-up for 2015 deals. Investment targets of Fund 1 can be domiciled in any country and have no nationality requirements. Its earlier-stage nature means closer, more frequent mentoring, thus, Fund 1 portfolio companies tended to have some of their operations in the Philippines,” Globe said in a statement.
For Fund 2, however, Globe said it expands on its innovation thesis and is possibly the largest commitment to early-stage startup investing coming out of a Philippine company.
Like Fund 1, investment targets of Fund 2 can be based in any country with no nationality requirements for founders but they are aimed at more developed startups that have validated their product-market fit and are now looking to expand.
Kickstart president Minette Navarrete said they prefer companies in the digital communications domain and encompasses telecoms as well as media, data analytics, Internet of Things, financial services, health, education, IT security, and energy and spectral efficiency.
“We are looking for startups that have strategic capabilities of value to communications and digital companies, in which we could invest more significant sums at Series A round and beyond to drive customer adoption and market momentum. These startups can be anywhere in the world and this new fund underscores our confidence that the Philippine market will support innovation,” Navarette said.
Since its founding in 2012, Kickstart has made 20 investments and many of them attracted follow-on funding from third-party investors including recognized institutional investors like Y Combinator, 500 Startups, Wavemaker, IMJ Investment Partners, Omidyar, FutureNow Ventures, Elea Foundation, Seawood Capital, and several local and overseas angel networks.