PH payments app Mynt raises $175m from Bow Wave Capital, nears unicorn status

Manila, Philippines. Photo: David Milmont/unsplash

Mynt, the Philippine payments app backed by Jack Ma’s Ant Financial, has raised $175 million in fresh capital from US investment firm Bow Wave Capital Management and existing shareholders.

The fresh funding gives Mynt, the fintech arm of Globe Telecom and operator of mobile wallet GCash, a post-money valuation of close to $1 billion, Globe said in a statement Friday.

The investment was made in multiple tranches. Bow Wave Capital made the investment through ASP Philippines, a limited partnership fund that it manages.

Founded in 2004, Mynt is 45% owned by Ant Financial and Globe Telecom each while Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corporation holds the remaining 10%.

The Mynt transaction marks Bow Wave’s first investment in the Philippines. Bow Wave will acquire a minority equity interest in Mynt following the deal. Details regarding how the investment would impact the current shareholder structure remain undisclosed.

New York-based Bow Wave is a close-ended private equity fund with a mandate to invest in global online and mobile payment ecosystem companies.

The latest capital injection in Mynt comes at a time when the virus crisis has accelerated the use of digital payments in the country.

GCash recorded a gross transaction value of over 1 trillion pesos ($20 billion) last year, spurred by services like online payments, bank cash-in, and money remittance. It has over 33 million digital wallet users. The mobile wallet allows users to transact physically and online, purchase airtime load, open deposit accounts, save and invest in money market funds, and acquire insurance products.

In April 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Voyager Innovations, operator of payments and remittance platform Paymaya, announced raising $120 million from existing backers PLDT, private equity firm KKR, China’s Tencent, International Finance Corp, and the IFC Emerging Asia Fund.

Gojek, Indonesia’s ride-hailing unicorn, also manifested its interest in the local remittance and payments market when it acquired local fintech firm Coins.ph for a reported $72 million in 2019.

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.