Globe Telecom has earmarked PHP 2 billion into a Venture Capital fund for its wholly owned subsidiary Kickstart Ventured, Inc. This funds will be used to fuel the rapid growth of high-potential startups. This growth fund, or Fund 2, looks at expanding startups anywhere in the world, with regional and global prospects.
“In the Philippines, I have yet to see a startup break through in a big way, not because of lack of talent but because the whole sector is devoid of support. Large tech incumbents operate well here, but startups struggle,” said Ernest L. Cu, Globe President and CEO, explaining the Fund’s rationale.
He added: “Globe has been finding and working with smaller, innovative startups to boost the quality of its customer experience, with very good results. So good that they get acquired by large global companies at respectably higher valuations! Seeing this potential, we believe that Kickstart can use the VC fund to help our startup partners to scale even faster via an equity investment.”
Started in 2012 with a USD 2.4 million seed fund focused in seed, and early-stage startups, Kickstart has also received a recent USD 1.1 million top-up for 2015. Fund 2 expands on Globe Telecom’s innovation thesis and is possibly the largest commitment to early-stage startup investing coming out of a Philippine company. Like Fund 1, investment targets of Fund 2 can be based in any country with no nationality requirements for founders but they are aimed at more developed startups that have validated their product-market fit and are now looking to expand.
So far, Kickstart has made 20 investments. Many have grown and attracted follow-on funding from third-party investors including recognized institutional investors like Y Combinator, 500 Startups, Omidyar, Wavemaker, IMJ Investment Partners, FutureNow Ventures, Seawood Capital, Elea Foundation, and a number of local and overseas angel networks.