PLDT’s Voyager Seals US$40M Investment from IFC
Voyager completed the deal just over a month after it raised US$175 million from global investment firm KKR, and China-based internet services provider Tencent Holdings Ltd last October 4, bringing Voyager’s total external funding to US$215 million. Both KKR and Tencent acquired a substantial minority stake in Voyager.
The latest business development has made PLDT’s ownership stake in Voyager less than 50 percent while still remaining as the single largest shareholder.
PLDT noted the combined investment continues to make the fundraising the largest investment to date in a Philippine technology company.
Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman, and CEO of PLDT and Smart Communications said they share the same goal of IFC to make financial services much more accessible and affordable to the world’s low-income population by supporting innovative financial services.
Latest statistics revealed almost 70 percent of the Philippines’ 105.7 million population are unbanked.
IFC does its financial inclusion mission through its Global Innovative Retail Payments Program, while PLDT is pursuing its own through Voyager’s platforms. The IFC Emerging Asia Fund is a fund managed by the IFC Asset Management Company (AMC).
In the latest funding deal, Voyager had the Bank of America Merrill Lynch as a financial advisor, while Latham & Watkins and Picazo Buyco Tan Fider & Santos acted as its legal counsel. Goodwin Procter acted as legal counsel to IFC and IFC Asset Management Company.
PLDT launched Voyager in 2013 and since then has produced award-winning technology platforms that support several digital services like payment wallet Paymaya, mobile acquiring service Paymaya Business, mobile-based remittance network Smart Padala, digital lending platform Lendr, including a rewards app for free access to the internet and apps in the Philippines called freenet.