Manila’s startup ecosystem achieves remarkable growth to $3.5B

Manila is celebrated in the world’s premier report on startup and economic enrichment – experiencing nearly 85% growth in ecosystem value 

The 2023 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) 2023 unveils Manila’s extraordinary leap in its startup ecosystem value, which has surged to an impressive $3.5 billion from a value of $2.1 billion, marking a tremendous 85% growth surge.

Released at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam, the GSER 2023 distinguished Manila with numerous commendations, including:

Top 25 Global Ecosystem and Top 10 Asian Ecosystem in Affordable Talent—measures the ability to hire tech talent

Top 20 Asian Ecosystem in Funding—measures innovation through early stage funding and investor’s activity

Top 30 Asian Ecosystem in Bang for Buck—measures the amount of runway tech startups acquire, on average, from a VC round

Top 30 Asian Ecosystem in Talent & Experience—measures long term trends over the most significant performance factors and the ability to generate and keep talent in the ecosystem

Top 30 Asian Ecosystem in Performance—measures the size and performance of an ecosystem based on the accumulated tech startup value created from exits and funding

“To witness Manila gaining traction as an innovation hub is incredibly rewarding. This underscores the Philippines’ transformation from an active player to a formidable leader in the ASEAN region—an achievement we share with the dynamic stakeholders of the Philippine startup ecosystem” Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual said.

The GSER 2023 also emphasized the vibrancy of Manila’s Fintech, E-commerce, and Gaming sectors, attributing their growth to a high density of talent, dynamic startup activity, and the collaboration between government agencies and private stakeholders working towards improving innovation and entrepreneurship across the nation.

“Our impressive leap in the GSER 2023 Report is a testament of our sustained commitment to fostering a dynamic startup ecosystem. We have put in place mechanisms for continued growth, from streamlined government processes to strategic investment support mechanisms,” Secretary Pascual added, emphasizing the collective efforts of DTI, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to harmonize programs and resources thereby accelerating the innovative startup ecosystems.

As a testament to these efforts, the DTI highlighted the pivotal role of Innovative Startup Act, the Philippine Innovation Act, and the Ease of Doing Business Act in fueling Manila’s rise from a regional tech hub to a globally recognized player in the digital economy.

Meanwhile, Rafaelita Aldaba, DTI Undersecretary for the Competitiveness and Innovation Group (CIG), underscored the government’s steadfast investment in the nation’s human capital, recognizing its pivotal role in Manila’s tech innovation success. The focus, she indicated, is centered on nurturing and developing the young, educated workforce that is driving Manila’s vibrant startup ecosystem.

Moreover, Usec. Aldaba pointed out the government’s dedicated efforts to foster innovation and skill development via the Science, Technology, and Innovation Industrialization strategy and the Philippine Skills Framework. “We continue to invest in and inspire our young Filipino talent. Our strategy fosters scientific and technological innovation while the Skills Framework ensures they are equipped with competencies that are in demand. We firmly believe that our people are our primary competitive advantage in this era of industrial transformation,” she added.

Secretary Pascual echoed Usec. Aldaba’s sentiment stating, “Our greatest asset in this transformative era lies in our human resources. By strategically harnessing these resources, we’re laying the groundwork for the next wave of Filipino innovators, ensuring they leave an indelible mark on the global stage.”

GSER 2023 ranks the top 30 as well as 10 runner-up global ecosystems and includes a top 100 ranking of emerging ecosystems. It also highlights startup communities from a regional perspective, separately ranking ecosystems in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, MENA, North America, and Oceania. Key themes of this year’s report include inflation, AI regulation, talent attraction, global VC funding, and a wide range of market sub-sector analyses.

The GSER is created in partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Network, Dealroom, and Crunchbase. The 2023 GSER provides invaluable insights and guidance on how to promote thriving startup communities — the #1 engine of job creation and economic growth. Discover how 140 entrepreneurial ecosystems compare and view the full report here:

Footnote: The 38% represents the compound annual growth of the ecosystem value in the reference period (01 Jul 2020 to 31 Dec 2022) compared with the base period (01 Jul 2018 – 31 Dec 2020) utilizing the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) formula. *

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