2022 was a successful year for the Philippines’ fintech industry, which saw the government continue to support the sector through conducive initiatives, growing demand for digital financial services, and an overall maturing of the industry.
Fintech activity also remained strong despite a year-on-year (YoY) decline, showcasing that investors are still very bullish on the prospect of digital financial services in the market.
Against this backdrop, we wanted to put a spotlight on the Philippines’ up-and-coming startups. For this list, we focused on companies primarily targeting the Filipino market. These companies have been founded over the past four years and have secured seed or pre-seed investment.
Founded in 2020, Peddlr is a mobile point-of-sale (POS) app that helps micro and small businesses (MSMEs) manage inventory and simple bookkeeping. The app also comes with digital ledgers and a storefront to help users sell online.
The platform aims to streamline business processes by providing a free POS mobile app that combines expense monitoring, sales tracking, accounting reports, profit and loss statements, bill payments, and more.
The company, which launched its platform in 2021, said its user base has experienced exponential growth since its inception, reaching about 350,000 downloads in February 2022.
The startup secured US$4.1 million in seed funding last year to accelerate user growth, and speed up the release of new app features and digital products to help its users, especially sari-sari stores, or local convenience stores, and other micro entrepreneurs, to earn more.
Founded in 2018, Packworks offers a full enterprise resource planning system targeting sari-sari stores and MSMEs in the Philippines. The platform allows business owners to manage inventory, bookkeeping, and data collection. Stores can also avail of financial products and order supplies for a cheaper price from the platform.
To help small business owners scale, Payworks also offers the Sari IQ dashboard, which provides data analytics on consumers’ behavior and spending habits. The company claims its solution has allowed businesses to increase their monthly sales by 35% on average.
In July 2022, Packworks raised US$2 million to develop its super app, called The Pack, by increasing the platform’s offerings, and create an open platform for financial institutions and brands to connect directly with sari-sari owners. The company also plans to build a department that engages sari-sari stores and provides additional services with partners.
Packworks, which claims a network of 200,000 sari-sari stores, is now considering raising between US$5 million to US$10 million to finance its overseas expansion, co-founder Ibba Bernardo said in September 2022.
Founded in 2021, Playdex is a social gaming platform that allows players and guilds to rent gaming assets from non-fungible token (NFT) holders. NFT holders, meanwhile, earn interest from lending their NFTs.
The company was founded by a team of crypto and fintech veterans who held senior positions at leading tech companies including Xendit, Coins.ph and PayMongo. Colin Goltra, Yield Guild Games COO and former Binance Director for Southeast Asia, has also recently taken on an active advisory role to Playdex.
Playdex raised US$2 million in a seed funding round in June 2022 to accelerate product development, scale its community, and integrate more games into the platform.
Playdex is tapping into the booming popularity of play-to-earn gaming in the Philippines. According to the company, one million Filipinos are now daily active users of blockchain games. The sector is expected to grow into a US$50 billion industry by 2050.
Founded in 2019, NextPay is a digital banking startup serving small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Philippines. The company’s platform allows customers to send invoices, collect payments, do payroll, and pay their bills.
Launched during the pandemic in 2020, the platform aims to help business owners manage their finances by automating transaction processes, and remove the steep barriers that Filipino banks and financial institutions typically require by providing no setup fees, maintaining balances, or ridiculous requirements.
In 2021, NextPay raised US$1.7 million in seed funding to expand its strong customer base, and introduce new digital banking solutions to MSMEs. Since its launch, the company has recorded over PHP 2.7 billion (US$50 million) in transactions and amassed more than 3,500 customers.
Founded in 2021, BayaniPay is a neobanking startup serving global Filipinos. The company’s mission is to use technology to break down the borders in banking and level the playing field for all global citizens.
Based in Los Angeles, BayaniPay’s first mobile service allows Filipino professionals working in the US to send money back home to their friends and families through an easy-to-use app. The company claims the lowest fees in the market and competitive foreign exchange rates.
BayaniPay’s remittance partner in the Philippines is BDO Unibank, the largest bank in the country. Remittances sent via BayaniPay can be claimed at over 1,400 branches and more than 4,400 ATMs of BDO Unibank nationwide, as well as at 8,000+ BDO Cash Agad outlets or agents.
In addition to remittances, BayaniPay also provides a digital checking account and an accompanying debit card.
BayaniPay raised US$4.5 million in seed funding in November 2022 to expand the technology team and launch in new markets.