The investment comes from existing backers KKR, Tencent, IFC and IFC Emerging Asia Fund
Digital tech solutions company Voyager Innovations, based in the Philippines, has received investment commitments of up to US$120 million from its existing backers, according to a statement released on April 6.
The commitment emerged out of an agreement between telecom and digital services provider PLDT, global investment firm KKR, Chinese Internet services conglomerate Tencent, the World Bank’s sister organization International Finance Corporation (IFC), and IFC Emerging Asia Fund, which is managed by an IFC subsidiary.
Voyager is a wholly owned subsidiary of PLDT-owned Smart Communications.
The funding will go towards fueling the growth of Voyager’s fintech arm PayMaya, the statement said. It also added that the company is “in talks with other strategic and financial investors.”
PayMaya says it is the Philippines’ largest end-to-end digital payments service provider; its touchpoints are more than double the total number of traditional bank branches in the Philippines. It also provides digital payments and disbursement services to government agencies and affiliates.
“This fresh round of investment is a testament to Voyager’s success in providing Filipinos with access to convenient, relevant and inclusive digital financial services through PayMaya,” the funder consortium said in a joint statement.
They added that the funding signifies the role of fintech tools in advancing digital solutions to the “crucial and very-human challenges” faced by the Filipino community.
CEO and Founder of Voyager Innovations Orlando B. Vea said in the statement, “We have made significant strides in spurring cashless adoption in a largely unbanked population. This funding boosts PayMaya’s ability to reach more Filipinos, especially as access to digital financial services becomes even more important.”
Shailesh Baidwan, President of Voyager Innovations and PayMaya Philippines said, “Today, more than ever, our end-to-end digital financial services are becoming more relevant and embedded in the daily lives of Filipinos… This investment will enable us to better support our financial inclusion thrust, while allowing us to expand to adjacent services.”
Baidwan noted in the statement that Voyager provides solutions to the underserved segment of the Filipino population through “over 27,000 Smart Padala partner touchpoints in communities.” Smart Padala is a mobile-based remittance platform whose agent network functions as digital financial centers in Filipino communities.
The undertaking comes as a follow up to $215 million investment made by KKR, Tencent, IFC and its Emerging Asia Fund over two rounds in late 2018. The investment was made to fast-track Voyager’s mission of digital financial inclusion and accessibility.
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