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Voyager is now the second fintech unicorn in the Philippines and is looking to enhance products offered by its digital payments app PayMaya.
Philippine fintech startup Voyager Innovations recently announced that it achieved unicorn status after raising $210 million in funding. According to the firm, which also owns the Philippines’ top digital payments app PayMaya and neobank Maya Bank, it now has a $1.4 billion valuation. The newly-generated capital will go towards the development of the crypto offerings that Voyager recently onboarded to its PayMaya payments app. Voyager intends to use the funds to launch Maya Bank services, including savings and credit products, through PayMaya.
PayMaya recently obtained a Virtual Asset Services Provider (VASP) license from the Philippine Central Bank. As of the end of March, the digital payments app had a user base of more than 47 million.
The funding round, led by SIG Venture Capital, also saw participation from new and returning investing shareholders. Many of these investors are prominent companies in the Philippines and the greater Asian region. They include EDBI, First Pacific Company, PLDT, KKR, Tencent (HKG: 0700), and International Finance Corporation. Rounding out this list are IFC Emerging Asia Fund and IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund.
Voyager’s new multibillion-dollar valuation makes it the second unicorn in the Philippines. The technology startup’s rival, Mynt, is the only other Philippine unicorn.
Voyager Aims to Expand the Philippine Fintech Space with New Unicorn Status
Voyager also looks to leverage a vast array of traditional and crypto-centric banking products and services with its newfound status. Speaking on the company’s new wherewithal to expand across multiple frontiers, the company’s president Shailesh Baidwan posited:
“The strong endorsement from our new shareholders and participation of our existing investors in this fundraising validates the company’s ability to expand into neobanking and add new cutting-edge financial products and services.”
In addition, Baidwan, who also serves as PayMaya’s president, stated Voyager’s purpose is to address “the pent-up demand for financial services.” As he put it:
“We are excited to bring more game-changing innovations to millions of consumers and MSMEs with our integrated ecosystem.”
According to Orlando B. Vea, Voyager and PayMaya CEO and founder, many Filipinos are “underserved and unbanked.” These deficiencies are in terms of the internet and digital finance available throughout the Southeast Asian archipelagic country. However, by extending its market reach, PayMaya seeks to make the most of this apparent void.
Philippine Fintech Growth Trajectory
The Philippines has one of the fastest-growing fintech markets in Southeast Asia. In fact, the country saw a marked increase in the adoption of digital services during the Covid pandemic. Put in perspective, the internet economy in the Philippines surged by 93% to $17 billion in 2021. Now, according to a report by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Co, that number is expected to grow even higher to $40 billion by 2025.
Many believe that the expansion of internet commerce in the Philippines will boost crypto adoption. Although the country does not have any laws restricting crypto activities, its central bank continues to warn investors about the risks.