Philippines: Kakao’s KVG backs fintech startup Satoshi Citadel

Philippine-based financial technology (fintech) startup Satoshi Citadel Industries (SCI) has secured a seed round with K Venture Group (KVG), the investment arm of South Korea internet company Kakao Corporation.

It was KVG’s first venture in the Philippines which it considers a “strategic partnership” with SCI, seeing the fintech startup’s ecosystem of financial technologies as a key addition to its portfolio of investments.

The size of the deal was not disclosed.

Launched by Kakao in January 2015 with up to $86.5 million (KRW 100 billion) starting capital, KVG has been active in looking to expand in both local and global investments.

Also Read: Fintech will lead PH to a new digital payments landscape: John Bailon, Satoshi Citadel

KVG opted to invest in SCI looking at the huge fintech opportunity in the Philippines being the third biggest remittance market in the world where over 69 per cent of the population have no access to bank accounts. SCI developed its own Bitcoin technologies to fill the gap.

KVG’s principal partner Scott Kwon lauded SCI’s track in addressing the needs of the unbanked.

“One of the most inconvenient sectors in the Southeast Asia region is the banking sector. We at KVG believe that SCI, using the power of Bitcoin and the blockchain technology, provides an innovative solution to those problems,” Kwon said.

SCI noted the sustained growth and profitability it gained in the last two years give an assurance of a secure and stable investment for KVG.

Also Read: PH fintech startup SCI creates offline digital payments technology

KVG will support SCI through synergies with Kakao and its other business assets and connections with its network of global partners.

SCI, however, plans to use its seed investment to strengthen its technology, grow its team, and expand its number of partners worldwide.

SCI chief executive officer John Bailon said he has always been keen on developing the Bitcoin ecosystem in the country running SCI’s Bitcoin technologies such as Rebit.ph, BuyBitcoin.ph, PrepaidBitcoin.ph, Bitmarket.ph, and Bitbit.cash that all seek to empower Filipinos with universal access to otherwise inaccessible financial services.

“We’re happy to be backed by KVG. They bring a wide range of expertise and access to platforms that will help us get to the next level towards our vision,” Bailon said.

Bailon explained through SCI’s very own Bitcoin wallet, international money transfers are made more accessible and affordable, and this leads to more opportunties for SCI to further develop inclusive financial solutions.

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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.