With around a quarter of the Philippine population still yet to experience internet connectivity, local tech startup Quicksilver Satcom Ventures (Quicksilver)—funded by social impact venture capital fund Ignite Impact Fund (Ignite)—seeks to increase internet penetration in far-flung and underserved areas in the country through the use of satellite technology.
Endorsed by the Philippine national government as a satellite provider, Quicksilver styles itself as a “boutique connectivity firm” that utilizes various connectivity solutions depending on what a certain geographical area requires.
“One of the key essential infrastructure components or any sort of economic development or investment management outside urban areas has to do with connectivity, which is why we started Quicksilver years ago,” said Vinci Roxas, director at Quicksilver.
Quicksilver believes that establishing basic connectivity in far-flung rural areas, which is especially challenging due to the Philippines’ archipelagic nature, is a major step in providing underserved communities more advanced necessities, which can make their lives easier. Their mission is to work with local governments as well as private clients to set up service areas, and then help leverage internet connectivity into greater economic development.
“Once you set up connectivity, you can do online banking, microfinance, and ecommerce,” said Roxas. “The local businesses can connect to the local economy, and then you can do things like imports and exports. It’s connectivity as an enabler for economic development.”
One such example of an early Quicksilver installation is the establishment of internet services in a leading microfinance company’s school in San Pablo, Laguna. With the company’s help, the school managed to enjoy consistent internet that helped them digitize their operations, power remote online learning sessions, and remote consultations for clinics that benefited many people in the city.
It’s Quicksilver’s potential economic benefit that attracted Ignite to it, as its goals were in line with the venture capital fund’s own social impact targets of eliminating extreme poverty in the Philippines.
“Well into the 21st century, the world has recognized a good internet connection as a basic human right. Quicksilver’s goals of providing not only free and accessible, but also consistent and reliable internet connectivity goes a long way toward alleviating poverty among the poorest of Filipinos,” said Maoi Arroyo, Ignite co-founder.
Ignite has currently invested in a wide variety of startups and business ideas that make meaningful social and environmental impacts in the Philippines. For more information on Ignite Impact Fund and their ventures, follow their official Facebook page at facebook.com/IgniteImpactPH and visit their website at https://igniteimpact.fund.