2021 was another breakout year for venture in Southeast Asia with over $25 billion in funding deployed. The region is now well established as a startup destination, with Indonesia its crown. Whilst it is right to celebrate Indonesia’s startup success, 2021 has also been the break-out year for another lesser known market to step up onto the mainstage and that is the Philippines.
Whilst there is a lot happening across consumer, logistics, and commerce, we dig deeper into financial services in this edition. A next edition will cover insurance and digital health. We are big believers in the opportunity in the Philippines, and have exposure across various companies such as Brankas, Sprout.ph, Advance.ph, and XLD.finance (and looking for more).
For a more general overview of the Philippines early-stage ecosystem, take a look at this recent study by BCG and Foxmont, available for download here.
Fintech Philippines: acceleration to lift-off
Whilst the world was in lockdown, the puzzle pieces locked into place in the Philippines.
First, the Philippines’ central bank, BSP, is making good on putting in place frameworks to achieve its strategic plans for 2023, which include 1) digital payment penetration of 50% and 2) bank account penetration of 70%. Several key initiatives will support this growth; 6 digital banks were approved to launch. The central bank also launched a pilot framework for open finance, working towards generally accepted standards for consent driven data portability. Relating to digital asset trading, BSP issued a new circular setting out clear guidelines to the operations and reporting obligations of virtual asset service providers. Finally, the Philippines will also launch a pilot implementation of a central bank digital currency (“CBDC”).
Read the full article here
Written by Christiaan Kaptein, Partner at Integra Partners. Illustrated by Theodore Ng, Analyst at Integra Partners.