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IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the IFC Emerging Asia Fund are investing $40 million in Voyager Innovations, a Philippine financial-technology company that promotes financial inclusion by expanding the use of digital payments. The equity funding is part of a $215 million package that marks the largest investment in a Philippine tech company.
The investment is expected to increase access to finance in the Philippines for millions of people. Currently, only about one-third of the Filipino adult population has a bank account. With this investment, IFC will support the expansion of Voyager Innovations PayMaya mobile wallet, which allows users to carry out cost-efficient and convenient financial transactions through their smartphones. According to a Findex survey, 95 percent of Filipino payers are using cash to settle their bills, with only 25 percent of the adult population having made or received any digital payment in 2017.
PayMaya also operates a merchant business that enables small and medium enterprises to accept a wide range of digital payments. PayMayas ability to provide mobile banking to people and a digital payment solution to SMEs is unique in the Philippines. That makes PayMaya ideally suited to improve the digital payment infrastructure in the country.
Tech companies like Voyager Innovations are increasingly allowing people to perform a variety of financial transactions on their smartphones, said Marcos Brujis, Chief Executive Officer, IFC Asset Management Company, which manages the IFC Emerging Asia Fund. This investment will help grow digital infrastructure in the Philippines and provide formal financial services for millions of people and small businesses. This growth should also help generate good financial returns for our investors.
Fintech holds great potential to help the Philippines overcome development challenges by making widespread access to financial services at affordable prices, said Vivek Pathak, IFC Director for East Asia and the Pacific. This investment in Voyager Innovations affirms IFCs interest in supporting technology-driven solutions and innovative business models that will create new markets for accessible and affordable financial products and services that can improve the lives of more Filipinos.
Voyager Innovations is a subsidiary of PLDT. IFC will join KKR and Tencent as new incoming investors. This combination of shareholders combines local knowledge, global expertise, and a strong understanding of the financial services industry.
The IFC is a prominent investor in fintech in emerging markets with a portfolio of over 35 companies globally. IFC has a long history of promoting new technologies that increase the reach and lower the cost of access to financial services. In fiscal year 2018, IFC invested $376 million in initiatives related to technology, including funds mobilized from other investorsexpanding its portfolio in this sector to more than $2.4 billion.