Conglomerate Ayala Corp. and its subsidiaries are launching a new venture capital fund with at least $150 million to invest globally in new technologies that can complement its business activities.
Ayala chief finance officer Jose Teodoro Limcaoco said in a press briefing following the annual stockholders’ meeting that Ayala would seek to focus on startups in their early growth stage and support tech innovations in data and analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, fin-tech, automation, real estate, retail, transport, energy, water, health and wellness, and food.
Ayala and units Ayala Land Inc., Bank of the Philippine Islands, Globe Telecom Inc., AC Energy, and other selected invited investors have committed to raise the fund, which will be managed by Kickstart Ventures Inc. (Kickstart).
Limcaoco said the $150-million fund will be invested over the next five years.
Ayala chairman and chief executive Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala said the group was undergoing a massive transformation to aggressively expand the digitalization of its companies.
The company earlier committed to pour in $250 million in minority investments in emerging technologies.
Ayala has already gained a foothold in fin-tech, e-commerce, logistics, industrial technologies, and health tech, and plans to invest substantially in tech innovations globally to help bring the country at par with the rest of the digital world.
“We have started to participate in digital businesses that we believe are disruptive. These investments are designed to complement our group’s traditional brick-and-mortar operations, future-proof our existing portfolio, and broaden the digital experience of Filipinos,” said Zobel.
“We spend significant time studying other markets that are in the advanced stages of digital maturity and we have teams constantly looking at emerging trends and technologies. Absorbing and learning from these experiences, we have become more deliberate in our own digital transformation journey and have elevated it into a group-wide strategic agenda,” he added.