Philippines

Manila

MEMBERS:
Department of Trade and Industry

"The Philippine startup ecosystem is thriving in the new normal as seen in the unfettered growth of investments. Home to a great pool of creative talents and with more focused government support, the Philippines is now a real emerging startup destination."

Dr. Rafaelita M. Aldaba
Undersecretary for Competitiveness and Innovation Group, Department of Trade and Industry
Top 20 Global Ecosystem in Affordable Talent
To 25 Asian Ecosystem in Funding
Top 30 Asian Ecosystem in Bang for Buck

Highlights

Over the last few years, a number of regulatory reforms have helped enhance the competitiveness of the Philippine startup ecosystem. In 2021, the ecosystem raised $1 billion in funding, a 179% growth on the previous year. Two local Fintech startups are valued at more than $1 billion, with Mynt achieving "double unicorn" status in November 2021 after raising $300 million and Voyager Innovations raising a total of $210 million in its latest funding round. Kumu raised a $73.6 million Series C and GrowSari, an e-commerce startup, raised $77.5 million in its latest funding round.


With the potential contribution of startups to the economy, the Philippine government has been focusing on building a robust startup ecosystem through the implementation of such policies as the Ease of Doing Business Act, which streamlined government processes, systems, and procedures; the Revised Corporation Code, which allows the incorporation of one-person corporations; and the Innovative Startup Act and Philippine Innovation Act, which provide benefits and incentives for startup and innovative enterprises.


To continue fostering innovation and collaboration, the annual Philippine Startup Week (PHSW), the country’s premier startup networking conference, is held to celebrate and showcase the Filipino startup community. Aside from various community-organized events across the country, PHSW includes three main events: the Department of Science and Technology’s Technology Business Incubation Summit, the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s InnovNation event, and the Department of Trade and Industry’s Slingshot Conference. The IGNITE innovation conference by TechShake, dentsu X, and Brainsparks also supports the startup ecosystem.

Ecosystem by the Numbers

TOTAL EARLY STAGE FUNDING
(2019H2-2021)
$292 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$687 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
(2019H2-2021)
$2 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$28.6 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$150 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$671 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND (2019H2-2021)
$5 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.7 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY (2021)
$8 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$46 k
411 m
GLOBAL AVG.
11.3 bn
19
GLOBAL AVG.
101
Amount ($)
Count (#)

Exits

(2017-2021)
EARLY-STAGE FUNDING GROWTH TIER (2018/19 VS. 2020/21)
10
Calculated on a scale of
1 (lowest) to 10 (highest)
TOTAL VC FUNDING (2017-2021)
$575 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$4.5 bn
TIME TO EXIT (2017-2021)
8.4 years
GLOBAL AVG.
9.4 years

Sub-Sector Strengths

Fintech

Philippines Fintech Map 2022 identifies more than 220 Fintech companies in the country, of which 27% are in lending. With sustained demand for digital banking solutions and a shift towards digital transformation, the Philippines mobile wallet and payment market is expected to record a CAGR of 24.1%, reaching $19.8 billion by 2025. The PayMongo Accelerator Program, launched in 2021, is the first such program in the Philippines, and is backed by Silicon Valley-based Y Combinator. Philippine Digital Asset raised a $50 million Series B in February 2022. The same month, PayMongo raised $31 million in Series B funding.

E-commerce

E-commerce adoption in the Philippines increased to 80% in 2021, up from 70% in 2019 and 76% in 2020. The E-commerce Philippines 2022 Roadmap envisions one million e-commerce businesses by the end of 2022, as well as a digitally literate workforce to support the expanding sub-sector. In 2021, the Philippines had over a million thriving e-commerce enterprises, exceeding the Roadmap's target. Great Deals e-commerce, a Filipino end-to-end e-commerce service platform, raised a $30 million in Series B funding in May 2021.

Reasons to Move Your Startup to Manila

Government Startup Programs

The government provides assistance to startups through incubation and acceleration programs. The IDEA, ADVANCE, and Global Acceleration Programs were designed to help startups validate their solutions, commercialize, scale up, and expand globally. The government also provides funding support through the Startup Grant Fund, which helps startups in overcoming R&D roadblocks, and the Startup Venture Fund, which provides equity funding to startups.

Support for Foreigners

Foreign businesses employing foreign nationals enjoy fiscal incentives, and in March 2022, the Foreign Investment Act was amended to allow foreign nationals to own an MSME with a minimum paid-in capital of $100,000.

Tax Incentives

The 2021 Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE Act) provides export-oriented enterprises and domestic enterprises engaged in strategic activities as defined under the Strategic Investment Priority Plan (SIPP) with the following incentives: income tax holiday, VAT and customs duty exemptions to be followed by a Special Corporate Income Tax or Enhanced Deductions up to a maximum period of 17 years.

Selected Startup Organizations

Startup Genome Members

"Startup Genome and the Department of Trade and Industry, Philippines have been working closely together to highlight Manila in the GSER. We are excited to capture their progress in funding as a Top 25 Asian Ecosystem and Top 15 Asian Emerging Ecosystem for early stage funding and investor activity."
Stephan Kuester, Head of Ecosystem Strategy of Startup Genome

Key Ecosystem Players

Startup Genome
Partners

AIM-Dado Banatao Incubator
Brainsparks
Department of Information and Communications Technology
Department of Science and Technology
Fintech Alliance of the Philippines
IdeaSpace Foundation
Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines
Launchgarage
National Development Company
Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc.
Philippine Fintech Association
QBO Innovation Hub
Small Business Corporation
StartUp Village

Featured Articles from
Local Ambassadors

Katrina Chan
Innovation Hub Director at QBO Philippines
Katrina Chan | Ambassador
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