Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Kickstart Ventures, one of the most active venture capital firms in the Philippines, celebrates its 10th anniversary with a renewed commitment to investing in startups across the country and beyond.

When Kickstart was established in 2012, the Philippine startup ecosystem was in its infancy. This inspired founders Minette Navarrete, Dan Siazon and Christian Besler to pitch a pioneering evergreen fund to The Globe’s board, starting with $2.5 million in its first year. Their goal was to make seed investments in local tech startups to fill the funding gap and deliver better digital solutions to consumers and businesses.

Today, Kickstart manages two funds for Globe and advises the $180 million Ayala Corporation Technology Innovation Venture (ACTIVE) fund, the largest fund to emerge from the Philippines. The ACTIVE fund is anchored by Ayala Corporation and counts Bank of the Philippine Islands, AC Industrials, AC Energy and Globe Telecom as its LPs [please define LPs].

He continues to invest in his first fund with a mission to support the Filipino startup ecosystem, drive innovation and improve the Filipino digital life, as evidenced by his recent investments in kumu, edamama and NextPay. From the ACTIVE fund, he has invested in eight startups that represent the areas that the Ayala Group seeks to advance: new technologies, emerging trends and innovative business models that the Ayala Group believes in.

Kickstart has also co-invested with a number of other groups in the Philippine venture capital space, as well as other investors in the country and abroad.

“Our brand refresh is one of many initiatives aimed at outlining our evolution and communicating our mission to break down barriers and build bridges across the vast Ayala, Globe and Singtel networks,” said Carla Samson, Head of corporate communications from Kickstart Ventures. “Our updated positioning builds on the strengths and values ​​we have passed on over the years and displays the depth of our aspirations.

Kickstart Ventures’ new logo. Photo by Kickstart Ventures

Take flight in innovation hubs around the world

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many aspects of society, it has in turn accelerated digital adoption across all industries.

With this, Kickstart sees the Philippine startup ecosystem continuing to thrive in the future with the arrival of the Filipino digital consumer who is expected to drive the boom of the Philippine internet economy to $40 billion by 2025, according to the e-Conomy Southeast Asia (SEA) Report 2021.

World-renowned venture capital firms like Andreesen Horowitz, Warburg Pincus, Insight Partners, General Atlantic and SIG have all made notable investments in Philippine startups over the past year and Kickstart expects these investors and others will continue to focus on the Philippine market given the continued adoption of Filipino consumers, SEA’s second largest consumer market, who see themselves purchasing goods and services digitally, even post-pandemic.

As more investments come in, Kickstart also sees an opportunity to continue championing innovation for the Filipino consumer and business by expanding its search for tech startups in innovation hubs around the world, by particularly in the United States, Europe and throughout Asia.

“We see many opportunities for growth and expansion,” said Bit Santos, Kickstart’s COO of Wallet. “We have a dedicated team to support our portfolio companies with business development, media relations and community engagement. Our goal is to become the investment partner of choice for investors and startups looking to invest or expand in the Philippines as an entry point to the wider Southeast Asian region.”

Minette Navarrete, President of Kickstart, also noted that they will double down on investments in areas they believe can add the most value, such as digitization and creating a smoother future; decarbonization through technologies that catalyze behavior change; and decentralization through the emergence of blockchain-powered ecosystems and use cases.

“As we increase the size and capacity of our investment team, we will also increase our accessibility to startups through our diverse innovation and community partners in the Philippines and around the world,” she added.

Risk rewarded

At a time when Southeast Asia had no known digital businesses or massive startup success, Kickstart envisioned a Philippines & SEA region where founders’ biggest ambitions could take off and startups could get a massive success within a community that is justifiably proud of its accomplishments. . The past decade has seen this vision come true with 25 new unicorns emerging at a record pace in 2021 compared to just 21 unicorns before 2021.

Nationally, overall deal volume and value increased, with the average quarterly deal value increasing 37 times in 2021 compared to 2019, and more local startups advancing to later stages.

Kickstart has also seen its own wallet take off with successful value-creating exits, including Coins.ph, a mobile wallet acquired by Indonesian super app Gojek in 2019, followed by Naver’s 2021 acquisition of Wattpad, a online social reading, and most recent investment. of Thailand’s True Digital Group in ZAP, the Philippines’ leading rewards program provider and one of Kickstart’s early investments.

Over the past two years, it has also seen two of its portfolio companies successfully achieve unicorn status, starting with San Francisco-based Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud communications platform, and Xendit, a leading payment gateway in Southeast Asia – on the back of megatrends on the future of work and the future of payments.

Like many Asian conglomerates, Kickstart LPs have begun to adopt innovative solutions across a wide range of industrial processes, whether in telecommunications, banking, real estate, energy or manufacturing. The company is optimistic about the future, a future powered by technology to be smarter, efficient, sustainable and fair. He is eager to create more value for his LPs, his partners, his customers and more particularly for the community of startups which constantly stimulate innovations for a better world.

As a member of the Globe Group, Kickstart supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in particular UN SDG 9, highlighting the role of infrastructure and innovation as critical drivers of growth. economic growth and development. It is committed to respecting the principles of the United Nations Global Compact and to contributing to the 10 United Nations SDGs.