During the SCALE Launch: A Program on Building Resilient and Sustainable Tech Business held on 27 April 2023, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual emphasized the vital role of Public and Private Partnerships (PPP) in encouraging investments toward building resilient and sustainable tech-startups in the Philippines.
SCALE is a mutual endeavor of DTI, the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Foxmont Capital Partners, and IdeaSpace Foundation in building collaborative programs to strengthen tech businesses, to be scalable enough to reach the global market.
The above-mentioned parties have also signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to provide a framework of cooperation and to facilitate and strengthen collaboration in creating programs for scale-ups in the technology sector. This partnership among industry leaders aims to assist the Philippine startup ecosystem through a whole-of-society approach.
In his message, Secretary Pascual shared that, “Over the last couple of years, the Philippine startup ecosystem has scaled fast. In 2021, the startup ecosystem raised USD 1 billion in funding, a 179% growth from the previous year. Two local fintech startups are valued at over USD 1 billion. Mynt achieved “double unicorn” status in November 2021 after raising USD 300 million. In their latest funding rounds, Voyager Innovations raised USD 210 million; Kumu, USD 73.6 million; and GrowSari, USD 77.5 million.”
With this significant growth, the Philippine startup ecosystem climbed to over USD 2 billion, according to the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2022. In support of this, DTI designed the Startup Development Program under the umbrella of Science, Technology, and Innovation-Based Policy or STI Policy to help transition startups to become commercially viable.
Last year, the DTI Startup Development Program assisted 58 Philippine startups. They also conducted overseas business matching trips and partnership meetings that sealed about 44 business deals. Alongside this, DTI also created game-changing programs such as (1) DTI Startup Acceleration and Incubation Program (Startup AID); (2) Incubation, Development, and Entrepreneurial Assistance (IDEA); (3) Accelerating Development, Valuation, and Corporate Entrepreneurship (ADVanCE) Program; (4) Global Acceleration Program (GAP); and (5) International and Local Exposure Assistance Program (iLEAP).
Aside from this, the Innovative Startup Act allowed the creation of the Startup Venture Fund (SVF) wherein loans are made available to assist startups to expand, build, and market their products and services.
Located at Makati City, just inside the DTI International building is the QBO Innovation Hub, the first private-public partnership innovation hub for Filipino startups. Since its founding, QBO has supported over 600 new businesses and conducted 100 programs annually.
Philippine industries are challenged to scale up due to the fast-changing and competitive business environment. With this, resiliency and scalability are critical for businesses to thrive and survive. In closing, Secretary Pascual said that, “A strong private-public partnership is needed to establish a more competent startup ecosystem. I hope that we’ll be able to work together and learn from each other. Let’s use each other’s strengths to make sure that our investees thrive, and succeed, and that the venture ends up in an operation that will scale the success of the startup ecosystem.”