The Philippines startup ecosystem continues to show signs of heating up and Gobi-Core Philippines Fund expects local startups to raise up to $2 billion over the next three years, more than the total amount raised in the last five years.
Gobi-Core Philippine Fund is a $10-million fund launched by global venture capital firm Gobi Partners and local venture investor Core Capital in 2018 to support seed-stage and pre-Series A startups in the Philippines.
“We see an emerging trend of independent startups taking a larger share of total funding as these founder-led companies find market fit, solve real world problems, and catch investors’ attention,” the fund said in its latest Philippine Startup Ecosystem Report 2021.
With the Philippine technology market now being solidified in the country’s ecosystem, there is now a clearer direction of how this startup community will continue to progress, according to the report.
This includes the country’s new wave of technopreneurs, the preference for camels over unicorns, and the rise of the entertainment and cryptocurrency sectors in this new world.
“With these opportunities, the Philippine startup ecosystem is only just beginning,” the report said.
Prior to 2021, the highest funding stage a Philippine startup reached was Series A. This year, an unprecedented three Series B fundraising rounds were announced – live streaming and social commerce app Kumu; e-commerce enabler Great Deals; and B2B marketplace GrowSari.
In addition, 2021 funds raised in the first ten months of the year almost exceed the total amount funds raised from 2017 – 2020, thanks to the increasing support from the government.
The report also showed that the Philippines’ e-commerce sector was biggest gainer from pandemic-fueled digitization, and a total of 35 e-commerce startups (including enablers) were founded in 2020 and 2021 alone, during the pandemic.
On the founder side, Gobi-Core’s tracking has revealed that the gender gap between male and female startup founders in the Philippines is now 1:2 – a massive improvement from 1:5 in 2015.
This stems from the cultural influence of the Philippines’ matriarchal society, which has long seen more women in leadership roles compared to its Asian – and ASEAN – counterparts.
“With the strong commitment of the Philippine government, the growing local and foreign interest, and the expanding community of startup founders and tech company leaders, we expect the ecosystem to sustain the robust 20 to 30% growth in the number of Philippine startups — estimated at 1,000 as of writing — in the years to come,” the report said.