The Rise of Startups in the Philippines

The Philippines… a country known for the hospitalities of the Filipinos. And beyond that is a country that holds amazing potential. 

The Philippines’ capital city, Manila, is home to some of the world’s most creative and talented individuals. In the recent decade or so, the government has taken the initiative to improve the startup economy’s condition. In order to support the ecosystem and boost entrepreneurship, they devised a five-point strategy.

Manila receives support from the government to further enhance economic growth through the following:

The Manila startup ecosystem is expected to expand significantly as a result of these concerted efforts.

Overall, the Fintech sector is doing well in Manila. Fintech businesses make up to 15% of the startup ecosystem. In 2018, Manila’s Fintech companies had a transaction value of $5.7 billion, which is predicted to rise to $10.5 billion this 2022.

In fact, four startup companies from the Philippines are included in Forbes’ “100 to Watch” list.

Photo source: bworldonline.com
  • ChatGenie, an e-commerce platform that provides an automated ordering process and checkout experience via social media and messaging apps that are also integrated with mobile wallets and delivery services.  
  • CloudEats, a cloud kitchen company preparing on-demand meals for numerous brands. Affiliated with various delivery services, CloudEats’ kitchens are located in non-retail, cost-efficient spaces with operations and layouts designed specifically for food delivery.
  • Kalibrr, a job-matching platform for startups looking to hire talent. The company raised $7.5 million from Omidyar Network, Wavemaker, and Kickstart Ventures. It was the first Filipino company to be accepted by startup accelerator Y Combinator.
  • PayMongo, a financial technology company for businesses in the Philippines to receive online payments through its payment platform. PayMongo is backed by Y Combinator. 

The number of startup incubators in Manila has grown as the city’s startup community evolved as well.

“Companies on the 100 to Watch list are making remarkable progress and impact in spite of the challenging climate brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Their inclusion on the list comes in part from addressing significant problems with innovative solutions,”

Justin Doebele, editor of Forbes Asia.

This Forbes List includes for-profit companies or even privately owned from different industries. 

With the rise of startups in the Philippines, just last month, the country’s largest startup conference, Philippine Startup Week, took place from November 14 to 18. It brought together people from the local startup community and other sectors plus high-potential startups. 

We can only look forward and see how the startups in Manila will evolve into successful corporations. 

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Comments on The Rise of Startups in the Philippines

  • https://mediatech.ventures/profile/robcampanell/ Rob Campanell

    Jenine, Thanks for the informative article.

    Before Covid, I would go to the Philippines every two years for family visits in Batangas. I would notice continued progress and prosperity on every visit.

    This past year, I participated in the Alibaba Global Institute’s Netrepreneur program and the Philippines startups had the biggest delegation in the program.