Voyager raises US$167 mn for PayMaya’s expansion into digital banking
By Leandra Monteiro
Voyager Innovations, a technology company in the Philippines, announced that it raised US$167 million to fast-track financial inclusion in the Philippines through its financial technology arm, PayMaya Philippines.
Participating in the funding were existing shareholders PLDT Inc, one of Philippines’ largest integrated telecommunications companies and digital services provider; KKR, a global investment firm; and Tencent, a technology company in China. Voyager welcomed IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund, a fund managed by the IFC Asset Management Company, as a new investor.
The fundraising marks another milestone for Voyager after having successfully growing PayMaya’s mobile wallet, payments processing, and digital remittance businesses. Voyager is now leveraging this ecosystem to expand into digital banking for the next phase of its mission to improve financial inclusion in the Philippines. Towards this end, it applied for a digital bank license with the country’s central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Voyager will use the new funds to expand its PayMaya services and to continue enabling more unbanked and underserved individuals and MSMEs with new and inclusive products, such as credit, insurance, savings, and investments, through a soon-to-be-established digital bank.
Once granted a digital bank license by the BSP, the new entity will provide mobile-first, low-cost, round-the-clock, branchless, ubiquitous, paperless, secure, and smart neo-banking services on the back of PayMaya’s proven technology platforms.
Orlando B. Vea, Voyager and PayMaya CEO-Founder said, “We have seen a quantum leap for digital payments adoption in the Philippines over the past year, and PayMaya has served as the nexus connecting consumers and enterprises with enriching digital finance experiences. This investment supports the unique value we bring and gives us a natural head start with the target market for the digital banking service.”
Shailesh Baidwan, Voyager and PayMaya President said, “As we did with payments and remittances, we will enable the large masses of Filipinos to leapfrog into a new stage of financial inclusion through integrated digital financial services. Our goal is to continue making lives better for millions of underserved people and small businesses, with cutting edge solutions that are affordable and relevant.”
PayMaya has continually led the charge in fostering deeper adoption of digital payments across consumers, enterprises, and government, hitting crucial milestones despite COVID-19 quarantine measures imposed starting March 2020.
PayMaya has also made it easier for Filipinos – whether banked or unbanked – to add money, cash out, make payments, and remit funds through more than 250,000 digital-finance access touchpoints, seven times the number of the ATMs and bank branches in the country. This expanded access is significant for an archipelagic nation where 33% of cities and municipalities do not have any banking presence.
This investment includes US$121 million in fresh funding and US$46 million from previously committed funds. KKR makes its investment from its Asia private equity fund. IFC Emerging Asia Fund, a fund managed by IFC AMC, is also an investor in Voyager.
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