Voyager Innovations, the tech company of PLDT, has secured an additional $40 million (P2.1 billion) investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and IFC Emerging Asia Fund, a fund managed by IFC Asset Management Company (AMC).
In a disclosure Monday, PLDT said IFC and AMC has agreed to subscribe to a total of $40 million worth of newly issued shares in Voyager Innovations for a minority stake.
“The investment is expected to help further expand financial inclusion in the country and promote the digital economy through broader use of digital payments,” PLDT said.
IFC and the IFC Emerging Asia Fund will join KKR and Tencent, which previously announced their investment, as investors in Voyager Innovations. A group of investors led by buyout major KKR and China’s Tencent Holdings invested $175-million in Voyager.
The combined investment continues to make this fund raise the largest investment to date in a Philippine technology company.
“We at PLDT are quite happy to welcome the investment of the International Finance Corporation and the IFC Emerging Asia Fund in Voyager Innovations. In this undertaking, we are kindred spirits. Through its Global Innovative Retail Payments Program, IFC aims to make financial services much more accessible and affordable to the world’s low-income population by supporting innovative financial services. That is precisely the goal that PLDT is pursuing through Voyager’s platforms,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman and CEO of PLDT and Smart Communications.
Founded in 2013, Voyager Innovations offers mobile money and payments (under the PayMaya brand), mobile-based remittances (Smart Padala), digital lending (Lendr) and solutions for businesses to receive online and card payments anytime, anywhere (PayMaya Business).
“Our mission is to accelerate digital and financial inclusion in the Philippines, so all Filipinos can participate in the digital economy. IFC and IFC Emerging Asia Fund’s investment will enable us to scale up our efforts especially in the digital financial services space,” Orlando B. Vea, President and CEO of Voyager Innovation.
Upon the close of the investments of KKR, Tencent, IFC and IFC Emerging Asia Fund which is expected before the end of the year, PLDT’s ownership stake in Voyager Innovations will be less than 50 per cent while still remaining as the single largest shareholder.