Investment firm KKR and China-based internet services provider Tencent have agreed to invest nearly $175m in Voyager Innovations, a Philippines-based fintech company of PLDT.
Investors led by KKR and Tencent will separately subscribe to a total of up to $175m worth of newly-issued shares in Voyager Innovations.
It gives them a minority stake in the Philippines’ digital technology company. The investment is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year and PLDT will remain as the majority shareholder in the fintech firm.
This new investment is considered to be the largest investment to date in a Philippine technology company. It will be used by the company to boost greater access to mobile payments in the country as a whole.
Voyager Innovations plans to accelerate digital and financial inclusion in the country and enable the broader Filipino population to participate in the digital economy.
Some of the services offered by Voyager Innovations include PayMaya, a prepaid payment wallet service, which allows Filipinos to shop online, pay bills, buy airtime load, and send money; PayMaya Business, a mobile acquiring service, which lets enterprises accept digital payments; Smart Padala, a mobile-based remittance network in the country.
The company also offers Lendr a digital lending platform and freenet, a rewards app for free access to the internet and apps.
PLDT chairman, president and CEO Manuel Pangilinan said: “Having global powerhouses such as KKR and Tencent as investors in Voyager Innovations demonstrates not only their confidence in the company’s ability to execute its vision, but also their confidence in the Philippine technology industry as a whole.”
Voyager Innovations president and CEO Orlando B. Vea said: “This is a watershed moment not only for Voyager Innovations but also for the Philippines. With this investment by KKR and Tencent, we will trigger an inflection point in digital adoption and financial inclusion in the country.”
KKR’s investment in Voyager Innovations is being funded by KKR Asian Fund III. The investment is part of the company’s first private equity investment in the Philippines.
Other investments that KKR made in technology and fintech sectors include Indonesian ride-hailing platform Go-Jek, personal finance management platform in China, Suishou Technology and First Data, a global payment technology and services provider.
KKR Southeast Asia team director Terence Lee said: “We are excited about Voyager Innovations and to further invest behind online payments leaders in emerging markets. Voyager Innovations provides critical digital and financial services to millions of Filipinos looking to join the digital economy for work and play.
The investment agreement has provision for the fintech firm to issue additional shares to other investors. If this occurs, it could reduce PLDT’s stake in Voyager to less than 50%, but it will still remain as the largest shareholder.