PLDT has announced an investment of $40 million (₱2 billion) into Voyager Innovations, the Philippines’ leading digital technology company. In a press release, the telecommunications giant said that the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the IFC Emerging Asia Fund, a fund managed by IFC Asset Management Company (AMC), will subscribe to $40 million worth of newly issued shares in Voyager Innovations for a minority stake.
“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,” said PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan. “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.”
“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,” said Voyager Innovations President and CEO Orlando B. Vea.
Voyager Innovations, whose products and services include Smart Padala (mobile remittance), PayMaya (digital payments), Lendr (online lending), and Freenet (a free Internet service), has already received $175 million (₱9 billion) in external funding from global investment firm KKR and Chinese Internet giant Tencent. The latest funding from IFC and IFC Emerging Asia Fund brings the total external investment into Voyager Innovations to $215 million (₱11 billion) – the largest investment so far in a Philippine technology company.
After these investments, PLDT’s stake in Voyager Innovations will be less than 50% but the company will remain as the largest shareholder.