PLDT Inc. announced Wednesday the closing of the $175-million investment in Voyager Innovations by KKR, a global investment firm, and Tencent Holdings Ltd., a leading provider of internet services in China.
“Money in today was $175 (million),” Manuel Pangilinan, chairman and chief executive of PLDT and Smart Communications said, when asked for comment.
“Voyager can now step up its efforts to make its innovative financial and internet platforms more accessible to more Filipinos in more parts of the country,” Pangilinan said.
KKR and Tencent subscribed to newly issued shares in Voyager Innovations, the Philippines’ leading digital technology company. KKR and Tencent’s investment gave them a substantial minority stake in Voyager.
“We believe with investors like KKR and Tencent leading the way, the Philippines’ profile as a destination for tech investment is on the rise,” said Voyager president and chief executive Orlando Vea.
PLDT also announced early this week that International Finance Corp. and IFC Emerging Asia Fund committed to invest $40 million in Voyager.
This transaction is expected to close within a few weeks. In total, Voyager will raise $215 million, making this the largest private fund raising in a Philippine technology company.
“IFC, I think is Dec. 10 for the $40 million, so that should complete $215. That’s it for Series A funding, but we may need to raise more maybe after two years or so,” Pangilinan said.
Voyager said it would leverage the new capital and significant expertise of KKR, Tencent, IFC and IFC Emerging Asia Fund to accelerate digital and financial inclusion in the Philippines and enable the broader Filipino population to participate in the digital economy.
The company’s award-winning technology platforms support the digital services such as PayMaya, the most recognized prepaid payment wallet service in the Philippines, enabling Filipinos to shop online, pay bills, buy airtime load and send money and PayMaya Business, the largest mobile acquiring service in the Philippines, enabling enterprises of all sizes to accept digital payments.
Voyager is also the one behind Smart Padala, the largest mobile-based remittance network in the Philippines; Lendr, the largest digital lending platform in the Philippines; and freenet, the most popular rewards app for free access to the internet and apps in the Philippines.