Open post

Kickstart Ventures, Inc. to Manage New $150M Venture Capital Fund of Ayala Corp.

Kickstart Ventures, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom, was chosen by Ayala Corporation (AC) to manage its new $150 million venture capital fund to support startups pursuing innovations along key technology areas in data and analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, fintech, automation, real estate, retail, transport, energy, water, health and wellness, and food. The Ayala Corporation Technology Innovation Venture (ACTIVE) Fund is looking at a range of investments in Series A to Series C or early- to mid-growth stage across four key investment themes: (1) ‘A Frictionless Future;’ (2) ‘From Automation to Augmentation;’ (3) ‘Innovations in Real Estate;’ and (4) ‘A World of Plenty’.

As sole manager of ACTIVE Fund, Kickstart is responsible for seeking companies that offer innovative, scalable, sustainable solutions for the seamless integration of digital and traditional channels such as On-Demand Services, IoT, FinTech, Blockchain, E-Commerce and Omni-Channel as well as the automation and augmentation applications for Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics, Big Data and Analytics, and Cloud Computing.

Other target companies are those that provide green and inclusive technologies such as Clean Energy/Energy Storage/Distributed Energy, Environmental Tech/Waste Management; and smart technologies for homes, buildings, communities, property management, retail tech, and similar use cases.

“While ACTIVE Fund will invest in tech companies not only in the Philippines but also abroad, our focus will be on systems and solutions, rather than pure technology,” said Minette Navarrete, President of Kickstart. “Our investment themes reflect our perspective that technology and innovation are a means to positively influence the future we want to build rather than ends in themselves. By investing in solutions that can scale sustainably, and pairing equity with strategic support, we can put Ayala Corporation’s assets to work in a different way, forging a future that is frictionless, symbiotic, equitable, and boldly efficient,” she explained.

Kickstart was launched in 2012 to support the Philippine startup ecosystem and has so far made 39 investments in digital companies, supporting 83 founders across the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, United States, Canada, and Israel. ACTIVE Fund will be its third and largest fund to date.

Kickstart investments include Toronto-based startup Wattpad, recently in the news for having inked significant content deals with Sony Pictures Television, Singapore’s Mediacorp, and the Philippines’ Anvil Publishing; Indonesia’s C88, which announced a $28M Series C round last year; and the Philippines’ Coins.ph, which was recently acquired by Indonesia’s Go-Jek.

On the other hand, Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu reflects on how venture capital has become a vital part of Globe Telecom’s future. “Globe is animating its digital transformation via a corporate culture that is more entrepreneurial, more customer-focused and executing with speed and precision. We are engineering Globe to be more than a telco; it is now a platform upon which our business partners can grow, and individual consumers can depend on to provide access to the best digital lifestyle options. Corporate venture capital through Kickstart Ventures has been an important part of bringing more startup partnerships to Globe. We’re excited to work with Ayala Corporation to support the Group-wide digital transformation,” he said.

Earlier, AC announced the creation of ACTIVE Fund which leverages the breadth of the Ayala conglomerate—Ayala Corporation and affiliates Globe Telecom, BPI, Ayala Land, AC Industrials, Manila Water, AC Energy, and AC Infrastructure, which are also leaders in their respective fields.

“We offer more firepower, greater access, and the potential for partnerships across multiple industries through this one fund. It is simpler for potential investees to navigate and more collaborative for ourselves to operate,” said Ayala Corporation CFO Jose Teodoro Limcaoco.

Ayala Corporation Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala indicated the role he wants AC to play with the new business landscape, “The Group continues to thrive and grow, and our business units are serving the needs of more Filipinos than ever before. At the same time, we are well aware that new technologies and business models are disrupting established industries globally: the pace of innovation is astounding. We are determined that Ayala Corporation will play a role in the transformation of industries—not as a bystander, but as an innovation catalyst.”

The fund also builds on the optimism around the Philippines and Southeast Asia: a recent report co-authored by Google and Temasek predicts that the SEA region’s digital economy will triple to reach $240 billion by 2025; and the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook predicts that Philippine GDP per capita will breach US$4,000 for the first time in 2022, improving discretionary spend at both corporate and consumer levels, and opening opportunities for further investments in infrastructure, services, and products.

In view of global, regional, and national trends, Ayala is being well-positioned with digital capabilities across all its businesses as the Philippines and Southeast Asia economies grow.

Open post

Philippine startup community networking mixer with Coins.ph on Feb 28th!

For this month’s edition of Raid The Fridge, the monthly startup networking mixer of Kickstart Ventures, we can look forward another fantastic evening with guest speaker  Ron Hose, Founder & CEO of Coins.ph.

Ron is keen to share knowledge on what worked and what didn’t work building Coins.ph from seed funding to acquisition, setting strong company culture, and competing with incumbent players backed by two of Philippine’s largest conglomerates. Recently, a majority stake acquisition in Coins.ph was announced by the Indonesian tech company GO-JEK, a strategic move that will allow both companies to build something bigger and better for their customers. This acquisition has also allowed its investors to make an exit, which incidentally, makes Coins.ph the first exit for Kickstart Ventures — we’re a corporate venture capital investing in Pre-A to Series Cdigital startups globally.

So: we’re re-stocking our fridge with beers for the #startupPH community to enjoy while evening making new friends, reconnecting with old friends, and swapping stories over beers!

For any questions, you can contact the Fridgemaster via info@www.kickstart.ph. To view our Raid The Fridge events, check it out through Doorkeeper.

Open post

PH venture capital and private equity players form VCAP

(L-R) VCAP founding members Juan Carlos Camara, Associate at Navegar; Jennifer Alcabao, Director at ICCP SBI Venture Partners; Dan Ichikawa Siazon, Senior Vice-president & Treasurer at Kickstart Ventures; Honorio “Nori” Poblador, Managing Partner at Navegar; Gladys Enhaynes, Director at ICCP SBI Venture Partners; William “Billy” Valtos Jr., Senior Managing Director at ICCP SBI Venture Partners; Minette Navarrete, President & Vice-Chairman at Kickstart Ventures; and Manny Ayala, Managing Director at Endeavor Philippines.

Leading venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) players in the Philippines have come together to create an investment industry association that will act as a unified voice representing professional and institutional investors in the Philippines.

Called the Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of the Philippines (VCAP), this non-stock, non-profit corporation was the brainchild of ICCP SBI Venture Partners, Navegar, Endeavor Philippines, and Kickstart Ventures, Inc. with support from Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura, Sayoc & de los Angeles Law.

“VCAP is the first of its kind in the Philippines. It is a forum to promote a greater understanding of the roles VC and PE play in economic growth, to foster the growth of entrepreneurship and innovation, to encourage foreign investments into the VC and PE sectors in the Philippines, as well as to facilitate interaction and collaboration amongst its members,”

said William Valtos Jr., VCAP Chairman and President and ICCP SBI Venture Partners Senior Managing Director.

VCAP’s mandate includes building linkages with similar associations in other countries, raising the profile of the VC and PE asset classes, serving as a platform for potential dialogue on regulatory and policy issues affecting venture and private equity investments in the country, and promoting professional development of the member firms and employees.

The formation of VCAP will give local and foreign investors an accessible forum for sharing market information as well as discussing policies and practices which are of concern to VC and PE institutions and professionals, according to Honorio Poblador IV, VCAP treasurer and Navegar managing partner.

To this, Kickstart Ventures SVP and co-founder and VCAP charter member and trustee, Dan I. Siazon added that

“the long-term vision of VCAP is to help establish a mature and sophisticated market for venture and private equity investments in the Philippines commensurate to it being the second most populous market in Southeast Asia with an already well-established world-class talent pool.”

Siazon also invites all VC and PE practitioners as well as industry service providers interested in the Philippine market to join VCAP as members or associate members by emailing info@vcap.ph.

On the other hand, Manuel Ayala, VCAP charter member and Endeavor Philippines managing director, said VCAP’s formation is long overdue in the Philippines.

“Globally, Endeavor has seen how a VCAP-type industry association in other markets such as [Mexico] has had a multiplier-effect on investment activity in the VC and PE sectors.”

The past few years have seen increased activities and interest in the local startup scene, where many players such as startups, founders, investors, public institutions, and other enablers have participated in hackathons, pitch competitions, and conferences but critical gaps remain in building a vibrant, self-sustaining ecosystem that can attract world-class talent and capital.

While there is an expressed desire for more capital, there is no deep enough understanding about how to attract quality capital, whether to startups at the micro level, or to the country, at the macro level. VCAP is committed to helping address these gaps so that promising entrepreneurs and companies achieve massive success, create more jobs, and accelerate economic growth.

About the VCAP Founding Members:

Kickstart Ventures:
Kickstart Ventures is the Philippines’ most active Corporate Venture Capital firm, focused on investments in Pre-A to Series C digital startups. It puts big company resources – capital, facilities, expertise and business connections – behind startups, so investees can launch faster, and achieve scale and profitability sooner. Kickstart is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom, and is backed by Singtel and Ayala Corporation.

Navegar:
Navegar is a Philippines-focused private equity fund that collaborates with founders and management teams to create long-term value for its portfolio companies by providing financial, operational, and strategic guidance.

ICCP SBI Venture Partners:
ICCP SBI Venture Partners is a partnership between two leading venture capital firms, ICCP Venture Partners and SBI Holdings. ICCP Venture Partners is the longest-operating venture capital firm in the Philippines, having raised six funds since 1997, and ranks in the top quartile of U.S. venture capital funds as tracked by Cambridge Associates. SBI Holdings (TYO:8473 formerly known as SoftBank Investments) is a listed internet financial services conglomerate and operates Japan’s largest venture capital practice. ICCP and SBI have a combined footprint of sixteen offices throughout Asia and one in Silicon Valley.

Endeavor Philippines:
Endeavor is a global non-profit organization that provides access to mentors, communities, talent, and capital.

Romulo Law:
lromulo mabanta buenaventura sayoc & de los angeles is a full-service law firm with offices in Manila, Cebu and Hongkong that provides solutions to private equity, venture capital and corporate clients in the fields of corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity capital markets, banking and finance, project development, corporate governance, anti-corruption including dispute resolution and arbitration.

Open post

Real estate matching firm Zipmatch closes new funding round led by Kickstart

Buying or renting a home, or any real estate property, continues to be a challenging experience for most Filipinos. If you go online today, property listings are generally overloaded with information. You spend more time filtering out less significant data before you can even begin your search. And if you decide to work with an intermediary, your customer experience is as good as your real estate broker/agent.

Home seekers typically care about three data points at the start of their search for a suitable home base: price, location, and neighborhood. The search is next narrowed on the basis of their lifestyle or preferences. Unfortunately, finding a home in a community fit for one’s lifestyle or preference is not easy: access to community information where the property is located usually requires seeking out different sources — tips from friends, work colleagues, or doing extensive search via Google.

This is where Zipmatch comes in: an online one-stop shop for real estate buyers, sellers, and brokers, it offers an LOGO_ZipMatch (colored, vertical)intelligent user experience for home seekers by matching them with recommended properties, and access to trusted real estate professionals who will then provide end-to-end guidance.  

Zipmatch also takes a unique approach in its online portal, in contrast to existing real estate websites — home seekers will enjoy well-curated choices and will be conveniently connected to trusted brokers.

The site also provides curated and verified content such as photos, 360-degree virtual tours, and a database of condominiums, townhouses, and house and lots to make buying and renting home properties easier and more efficient.

Launched in April 2013, ZipMatch started as a real estate brokerage and listing site, like many other property sites today. However, founders John Dang and Chow Paredes saw a bigger opportunity  — empowering both sides of the real estate market: the buyers and sellers, and eventually changing the way they do business.

Paredes said:  “ZipMatch’s strength lies within our community of home seekers. It is a community built on trust.  Thus, we want to provide them with reliable information and tools that will take them one step closer into owning or renting a home that is just right for them.”  

Aside from home seekers, real estate professionals benefit from Zipmatch: the inclusion of brokers and property developers in the online platform boost the number of leads they get for properties, which they would not normally get from regular listings.  Moreover, Zipmatch can match these industry experts with customers in need of professional advice for their home search.

“We welcome brokers and developers who want to be game changers in the real estate industry. We aim to change the way they sell by providing them with new tools and knowledge to maximize their online exposure to the right community of home seekers. This new way of making connections is more affordable and more efficient than the offline approach such as flyering,” Dang said.

Today, Zipmatch’s journey from being a brokerage firm with a few employees, into a mid-sized technology business operating with a workforce who deeply understands the pain points in buying and selling homes, now includes leading Philippine venture capital firm Kickstart Ventures as an investor and partner for growth.

“ZipMatch has a deep understanding of the property market from both the homebuyer and real estate professional side. As a venture capitalist with sharp focus around digital, Kickstart believes that the team has the necessary balance of platform and tech, data analytics, and human touch: making the home search process much more efficient, while also providing great real-life support where it counts,” said Minette Navarrete, President of Kickstart.

We believe that ZipMatch can become the go-to-site of every Filipino when they search for the home of their dreams,” Paredes adds.

Zipmatch is the 26th investment of Kickstart, the wholly-owned venture capital firm of Globe Telecom that invests in digital tech startups globally.

Open post

Singtel Group’s Go Ignite innovation alliance opens doors to local startups

Go IgniteThe most promising local growth startups working on solutions in the Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics, content delivery, cyber security, or customer experience enhancement space have a huge new opportunity to scale their business through Go Ignite, the recently-announced innovation alliance of the Singtel Group with their European counterparts.

The alliance, composed of  the innovation arms of Deutsche Telekom (hub:raum), Orange (Orange Fab), Singtel (Singtel Innov8), and Telefónica (Telefónica Open Future), offers to help top startups in the Philippines and abroad find business development opportunities, accelerate the commercialization of their innovations and bring their business outside their home market. Up to five innovative startups will be selected for the program:  the global call for startups to apply will be open until 11:59PM CET on April 30, 2016. Applications are submitted via the Telefonica Open Future platform. Shortlisted startups will be invited to pitch to the Go Ignite Alliance members.

“We are thrilled to see developments like Go Ignite giving Philippine startups a path to penetrating the global market. Through the collective resources of these four major global carriers, any startup shortlisted to the top five would have a wealth of opportunities and services to help them accelerate their global growth aspirations,”  said Minette Navarrete, President of Kickstart Ventures, Inc., a wholly-owned venture capital firm of Globe Telecom which is also a part of the Singtel Group.

Kickstart is a founding member of Singtel Group’s Innov8 Sparks, a network of technology startup support and funding initiatives. Kickstart helps startups by breaking down barriers that prevent founders from accessing capital, mentors, and markets. The VC firm’s network of business connections build virtual bridges to enable close and relevant engagement between the business community and startup founders.

To translate their ideas into viable solutions quicker, selected startups will benefit from the alliance members’ insights into different markets, introductions to partners, use of co-working spaces, potential investment, coaching, mentoring, invitations to  showcases and events, and access to the alliance members’ operating businesses. They will also have the opportunity to gain access to Go Ignite alliance members’ business units and their collective customer base, which includes enterprises and consumers, equating to over one billion mobile customers across five continents.

Edgar Hardless, Chief Executive Officer, Singtel Innov8, said:  “The Go Ignite alliance helps startups succeed in multiple markets by providing them with the right resources that are critical for their commercialization. Selected startups can expect access to the alliance’s business units and refine their solutions within a sizeable customer base. Combining our resources together, the Go Ignite programme can give startups a better chance to scale across markets worldwide.”

Interested startups can apply via the Go Ignite website; deadline for applications ends on April 30, 2016. To be eligible for the Go Ignite Global Call, all members of the startup should be above the age of 18.  The startups are expected to be in their growth stage with a ready product that can be taken to ecosystems across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. To find out more about the Go Ignite global call, please visit http://go-ignite.com

Open post

Teridion joins Kickstart Ventures investment portfolio

Teridion, a cloud-based networking company, becomes the 25th startup in the investment portfolio of Kickstart Ventures, Inc., a wholly-owned venture capital subsidiary of Globe Telecom. Teridion

Kickstart joins SingTel Innov8, Jerusalem Venture Partners, and Magma Ventures for Teridion’s Series B fundraising amounting to US$20 million, which allows Teridion to accelerate its go-to-market strategy as well as grow its team both in the US and abroad.

The internet is showing its age and Teridion offers a fix for content companies, app publishers, and other businesses that serve content and apps at scale. It has deployed a cloud-based optimization service that identifies the best paths for content and apps, and selects these paths so that dynamic content—both uploads and downloads—are delivered up to 20x faster.

Being a Business-to-Business (B2B) company, Teridion requires no hardware nor software installation, thereby, making deployment much quicker and cost-effective than a traditional Content Delivery Network (CDN). This means a typical cloud customer can be connected to the network in under an hour.

“We have confidence in Teridion. We believe that it is the answer to the fast-growing appetite for high performance and reliable internet experience by today’s applications and services for content delivery—but without sacrificing quality or reliability. With their network optimization and content acceleration solutions, Teridion is well on its way to becoming an important partner for organizations that need to build highly-dynamic applications without compromise,” said Minette Navarrete, President of Kickstart.

Kickstart and Globe are both committed to help build a digital nation towards a #wonderfulPH through supporting and maximizing the use of information and communications technology.

“The Internet is an incredibly powerful tool but until now, we have struggled to take full advantage of its capabilities. It is still common for us to fall victim to slow response times and volatile connections.” said Elad Rave, CEO and co-founder of Teridion.

More about Elad Rave, Co-Founder & CEO: A proven industry visionary, architect, and R&D manager with extensive experience in the technology sector, is CEO and co-founder of Teridion. He is recognized as an architectural expert and for multi-platform integration design and implementation.
More about Elad Rave, Co-Founder & CEO: A proven industry visionary, architect, and R&D manager with extensive experience in the technology sector, is CEO and co-founder of Teridion. He is recognized as an architectural expert and for multi-platform integration design and implementation.

He added: “We are thankful for the trust given by Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) and Magma Ventures, our earliest institutional investors; and our most recent investors, Singtel Innov8 and Kickstart. We are breaking down boundaries and providing users with a seamless Internet experience – no matter their location, device or application so that they can say goodbye to slow response time and volatile connections. The funding and general availability of our product are major steps in this direction. We are extending our sales coverage and channels to Asia Pacific countries.”

Teridion was only formed in 2013 but Rave has been working on the concept for over six years based on his past cloud and video experience. Their global headquarters is located in San Francisco while their engineering team is based outside of Tel Aviv, Israel.

The company’s solution is currently being used by more than 15 companies in the US and Israel which require some of the most bandwidth-demanding applications and services such as hosting and file sharing, rich media, and advertising. Future markets include enterprise and service providers.

Early customer deployments of Teridion have shown up to 20x improvement in Internet performance, offering an opportunity for businesses to achieve new levels of customer engagement and retention, ultimately driving up revenues.

Kris Lahiri, VP of operations and chief security officer at Egnyte, one of Teridion’s customers, noted how Teridion was able to help his company.

“Enterprise businesses rely on the flexibility of the Egnyte platform to securely share files, collaborate and maintain control over important data, no matter the storage provider, cloud, application or device. We want our customers to be freed from worrying about Internet connectivity or their geographical location. Fast response times and always-on reliability are vital to IT professionals and business users alike, and Teridion helps us consistently deliver high-performance across our solutions and services,” he said.

Lahiri’s view was also supported by Edward Chiu, DigitalOcean’s director of customer success. “Our company’s core mission is to simplify cloud infrastructure for the developer community. We’re excited to see Teridion focus on the same goal by simplifying content delivery across the core of the Internet, offering a service that doesn’t rely on caching,” he said.

Teridion also provides unparalleled flexibility through its cloud routers that are created on demand, thereby, providing scalability and enabling users to only pay for the resources consumed. The solution works with the largest cloud providers in the world to ensure the speed and reliability of traffic without requiring customers to leave their cloud provider. The solution is now available, and is priced based on data volume or users. For more information, check out www.teridion.com or www.twitter.com/teridionnet.

 

 

 

Open post

Digital tech startup Squadzip closes successful seed funding

Squadzip, a mobile-first software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for productivity and collaboration that applies the ease of use and familiarity of popular social media platforms to a sales and project management context, received an undisclosed amount of funding from corporate venture capital firm Kickstart Ventures and Silicon Valley-based seed-stage investor and innovation platform Plug and Play Tech CenterPHOTO_Squadzip Homepage

Squadzip is the first co-investment between Kickstart Ventures and Plug and Play Tech Center. This also marks the first investment of Plug and Play Tech Center in the Philippines.

Squadzip was inspired by CEO and co-founder Roman Mercado’s own frustrations in using productivity solutions while he was working in enterprise sales for medical, banking, and digital media industries.

In his corporate life, Mercado saw many corporations sink huge amounts of money into enterprise solutions, the implementation of which meant high upfront fees, hardware cost, complex user trainings, and time delays. These solutions ranged from the free to typically expensive legacy enterprise platforms. The situation prompted Mercado to tap colleague and now CTO and co-founder Joaquin Barandino to help build Squadzip, a productivity tool for businesses that allows teams to communicate in real-time and share data without having to endure lengthy forms.

“For our enterprise customers, Squadzip is like their own private company social media platform and wiki.  Activities are posted in real time on a live feed which are time- and location-stamped, while business intelligence is captured from each post to be classified and organized easily and in real time into Intel Pages. Also, sales teams involved in specific deals can collaborate and access data from anywhere in the world,” said Mercado.

Mercado and Barandino capitalized on the Filipinos’ proclivity for social media apps in a bid to ensure easy adoption by those assigned to use Squadzip. Instead the traditional task- and form-based paradigm commonly seen in other solutions, they created a hashtagging system called “ziptags” based on natural reporting behavior  which allows users to quickly categorize, search, and retrieve data on customer histories, competitors, and service issues as well as added powerful geolocation and timestamp features that allow businesses  to know what is going on and where it is happening.

Mercado further shared: “We make it a point to work closely with each client to make sure we remain responsive to actual needs and pain points they go through in their day-to-day operations. Our customers today use Squadzip to locate, monitor, and track sales teams remotely; capture and organize valuable customer data, service issues, and leads seamlessly; and analyze sales funnels, monitor ongoing projects, and track performance. ”

Since July 2014 when Squadzip was adopted by their first paying enterprise client, it is now in smartphones carried by teams traveling to different parts of the world. Squadzip is being applied in various use cases including sales, customer relationship management, and project management.

Early adopters

Enrique Miguel Valles, Mida Food Distributors president and chief operating officer, is an early user of Squadzip. His company signed up after experiencing unending difficulties in monitoring frontline itineraries resulting to lost opportunities and unanswered leads.

“Squadzip helped us implement a quicker response time: rapid deployment of sales reps as soon as needed by clients, better inter-department communication, and a more strategic approach to itinerary planning, all of these resulting to a record-breaking 2nd half of 2014,” Valles stated. Their use of Squadzip resulted to a year-on-year top line sales increase by 20%.

Another enterprise client, Apo Floors, a local manufacturer of vinyl and luxury resilient flooring, is on its 2nd year using Squadzip. Their vice-president and general manager Alfredo Mamonong shared that Squadzip allows them to save information on customers, companies, competitors, products, opportunities, and projects in real-time which become helpful references for decision-making.

Squadzip is, likewise, a perfect fit for companies with teams working in different parts of the country. Maria Ceres Reano, Broadchem Pharmaceuticals head of product research and development, is able to work with her mobile teams while out in the field dealing with agricultural corporations and farms.

“Using Squadzip has allowed Broadchem to remotely monitor and review activities of our territory managers and the status of their on-going promotions and projects,” said Reano.

Kickstart Ventures, Plug and Play Tech Center co-invest

Kickstart and Squadzip representatives during the close of the seed funding, L-R: Alex Alabiso, Kickstart head for portfolio development; Justine Castro-Mercado, Squadzip director; Roman Mercado, Squadzip co-founder and chief executive officer; Minette Navarrete, Kickstart president; Dan Siazon, Kickstart senior vice-president and treasurer; and Joaquin Barandino, Squadzip co-founder and chief technology officer.
Kickstart and Squadzip representatives during the close of the seed funding, L-R: Alex Alabiso, Kickstart head for portfolio development; Justine Castro-Mercado, Squadzip director; Roman Mercado, Squadzip co-founder and chief executive officer; Minette Navarrete, Kickstart president; Dan Siazon, Kickstart senior vice-president and treasurer; and Joaquin Barandino, Squadzip co-founder and chief technology officer.

In just 18 months since they started, Squadzip has already gained a portfolio of enterprise users across multiple industries. The funding from Kickstart Ventures and Plug and Play will enable the founders to further improve their product and scale distribution here and abroad.

“CRM remains to be an interesting space for Plug and Play.  Particularly those with very creative solutions in enhancing the user experience and interphase, like Squadzip. Its approach to ease of use and intuitive tagging of information I believe is key to its success.  Squadzip is the first investment of Plug and Play in the Philippines so we’re excited to work with Roman and his team and we hope to accelerate Squadzip’s potential globalization, possibly to become the next Salesforce or Sugar,” said Jojo Flores, Co-Founder and Vice-President. Plug and Play engages over 300 corporations in Silicon Valley.

 

Minette Navarrete, president of Kickstart Ventures, a wholly-owned venture capital subsidiary of Globe Telecom also welcomed the addition of Squadzip in their investment portfolio. “Squadzip is an enterprise solution designed to be frontline-focused, and architected to be enterprise-grade. Frontliners and head office management share the goal of growing their business, delivering great quality service to customers, and sharing information in real-time, frequently over multiple locations,” she said.

She added:  “Squadzip’s intuitive user interface makes it easy for distributed teams to collaborate and report information; and the back-end keeps it simple for management to make good decisions and communicate these quickly. This balance makes Squadzip a powerful tool in business development in today’s fast-paced environment.”

With the funding we’ve received from Kickstart and Plug and Play, Mercado expressed confidence that they are in an even better position to help more businesses serve their customers better and faster while saving them time and money.

Open post

Singtel Innov8 launches global programme on startup collaboration

Singtel Innov8 has announced a new program which opens doors for startups to collaborate with Singtel to create innovative solutions for business challenges faced by the Singtel Group, which includes leading Philippine telecommunications company Globe Telecom.

Through Singtel Innov8 Connect, which was launched on January 12, selected startups will receive up to S$75,Program EDM_Final[2]000 to test and validate their solutions with Singtel. Successful solutions may lead to commercialisation with the Singtel Group, providing startups access to the Group’s customer base which includes both enterprises and consumers and over 575 million mobile customers across Asia, Australia, and Africa. They will also have the opportunity to seek funding from Singtel Innov8 and tap on its network of co-investors and partners across the globe.

The move is a step forward from the existing initiatives across the Singtel Group, where affiliates run programs that actively support startups and entrepreneurship
programs. Globe Telecom in the Philippines, for example, has Kickstart Ventures, a corporate venture capital firm that makes investments in digital startups ranging from Seed to Series “C” stages. Other startup-oriented initiatives are run in affiliate operators AIS in Thailand, Telkomsel in Indonesia, and Optus in Australia.

Kickstart in particular runs two funds: Fund 1 is the original US$5Million seed-to-early-stage investment fund focused on startups that originate in the Philippines with an ambition to expand at least regionally; and Fund 2, announced in March 2015, is its US$50Million growth stage fund focused on strategically-aligned startups anywhere in the world. Demonstrating collaboration across the Singtel group, Kickstart last year invested along with Singtel Innov8 in Teridion, an Israel-based startup focused on network optimization and content acceleration.

“This development not only serves as another opportunity for Philippine startups to penetrate the global market and realize their global growth aspirations but also gives Globe and the rest of the Singtel Group a chance to benefit from the innovations that these startups may bring. Kickstart’s mission is to break down barriers and to build bridges to enable close and relevant engagement between the business community and the startup founders. Working with Singtel on Innov8 Connect will drive that goal forward,” said Minette Navarrete, President of Kickstart.

Kickstart is a founding member of Innov8 Sparks, Singtel’s network of startup support and funding initiatives across Southeast Asia.  It currently has 25 portfolio companies with various products and services encompassing SaaS (Software as a Service), e-commerce, social impact, digital lifestyle, FinTech, and HealthTech, several of which have already ventured to other countries.  

Edgar Hardless, CEO of Singtel Innov8 said: “Since Innov8’s launch in 2010, we have invested and partnered with many talented startups globally to help them expand their businesses and introduce innovative technologies to the Singtel Group.”

“Entrepreneurs are looking for problems to solve. This programme enables Singtel to share real-world business challenges and invite solutions from startups globally. It is an excellent opportunity for startups to work directly with Singtel’s business units and validate their solutions,” he added.

Mr. Peter Ho, CEO of Hope Technik, a Singtel Innov8 portfolio company said: “The investment and support from Singtel Innov8 have really helped Hope Technik punch above its weight class. Through Singtel, we have a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges faced by large enterprises, which allows us to create more relevant and impactful solutions.”

As the venture arm of the Singtel Group, Singtel Innov8’s mandate is to scout for and provide the Group with insights and early access to emerging technologies, as well as to nurture the innovation ecosystem in Southeast Asia. Innov8 Connect is part of Singtel Innov8’s initiatives to create greater awareness for Singtel’s innovation agenda and engagement with startup ecosystems.

Through the Innov8 Connect portal (innov8connect.com), Singtel Innov8 will publish briefs detailing various business challenges. startups with relevant solutions are welcomed to submit their applications through the portal. Selected startups will then be invited to pitch to a panel of management representatives from the Singtel Group. After a rigorous selection process, one company per brief will be chosen to work with Singtel to trial its solution.

Project Briefs

The first set of 10 project briefs are focused on business challenges in areas such as enterprise cloud, smart and safe city and customer experience. The briefs are now open for submission from all startups in the Philippines and across the globe at http://innov8connect.com.

Posts navigation

1 2 3
Scroll to top

Minette B. Navarrete

President

Minette is Vice-Chairman and President of Kickstart Ventures, Inc., the corporate venture capital subsidiary of Globe Telecom.  She is a member of the Ayala Corporation’s Innovation Advisory Council, and of Globe’s Innovation Advisory Board.  She is a Senior Vice President at Globe Telecom, focusing on New Business, and a member of the Board of Directors of AdSpark, Globe’s wholly owned digital advertising subsidiary. 

Minette has held a number of CEO/COO positions in various industries, ranging from scrappy Philippine startups to iconic global companies.

Dan I. Siazon

Senior Vice-President & Treasurer

Dan is a co-founder as well as the Senior Vice-President and Treasurer of Kickstart Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Globe Telecom. He also concurrently supports Globe in M&A activities, which in the past have included acquisitions of Yondu (formerly Entertainment Gateway Group) and Bayan Telecommunications. Dan’s career track has mostly been in global tech-related companies, particularly in telecommunications, personal portable computers, and over a decade in tech venture investing with JAFCO Asia, with senior-level stints in key global markets including the US, Japan, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia.

Dan holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA, and dual master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania’s Lauder Institute in International Studies (MA) minoring in German studies, and the Wharton School of Business (MBA).

Joan Cybil Yao

Vice-President

Joan is Vice-President of Kickstart Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Globe Telecom. She is a member of the Kickstart Deal Team.

Prior to Kickstart, Joan was Investment Manager for Southeast Asia at LGT Venture Philanthropy, a global impact investing firm headquartered in Europe. For six years, Joan was primarily responsible for the sourcing, screening, execution, and management of LGT VP’s deals in the region. In 2015, Joan also served as a consultant to the Department of Trade and Industry of the Republic of the Philippines, advising the Office of the Secretary on matters related to MSME development, tech startups, innovation, inclusive business, and social enterprise.

Joan holds a BS in Management Engineering with a minor in English Literature, cum laude, from the Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines.

Bit Santos

Portfolio Director

Bit Santos is the Portfolio Director at Kickstart Ventures where he leads the efforts to support portfolio companies and to nurture the local startup ecosystem. He has been a software product development leader for more than 10 years.

Prior to joining Kickstart, he was the Chief Technology Officer of OLX Philippines, an online classifieds platform company. He was primarily responsible for the product and technology strategy and operations of the Philippine team, but he also worked on global and regional initiatives within the OLX Group.

Pia Angeli C. Bernal

Community Manager

Pia joined Kickstart Ventures in September 2012 as its manager for social enterprise investments. Beginning May 2017, she serves as Kickstart’s Community Manager where she oversees PR/communications and external relations with the startup ecosystem stakeholders and enablers.

Before Kickstart, Pia held key Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) roles in both the not-for-profit and corporate sectors, specialising in resource mobilisation, project management and comms, employee volunteerism, community relations, and public-private partnerships. In Globe Telecom from 2006 to 2012, she owned the Education and Social Protection Services CSR portfolio, which saw the application of telco assets -- mobile, broadband, and value-add services -- to bridge resources to communities in need. This role in particular prepared her for Kickstart, as it allowed her to experiment and become an early adopter in the use of digital technology for public good at a time when smartphone and broadband adoption were still early, and the gains from the use of digital assets, technologies, and skills were still evolving. 

Pia holds a BA in Development Studies from the University of the Philippines in Manila, Philippines.

Frances Barsana

Business Development Manager

Frances Barsana is Kickstart’s Business Development Manager, who drives value creation in our portfolio companies by building strategic and commercial partnerships between best-in-class tech startups and top1000 corporations in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia.

With her deep understanding of both sides of the opportunity: the innovation and speed of tech startups, and the scale and stability of large corporations, Frances is the conduit for high-impact collaborations that help shape and define digital transformations within the ecosystem.

Frances was previously Business Development Director at PHAR Partnerships Singapore, an international media and marketing consultancy with offices in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. She is a graduate of the University of the Philippines, Baguio where she majored in Journalism.

Camille Cua

Investment Associate

Camille joined Kickstart Ventures in 2014 and is a member of the Kickstart Deal Team, with a primary focus on making strategic investments into promising startups in the region and globally.

Camille seeks out entrepreneurs building the next generation of category-defining digital companies, who offer innovative solutions to deeply felt problems, especially in Southeast Asia. She is also responsible for Semaphore, a Kickstart-owned SMS API.

Camille holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Fordham University and is both a voracious reader and eater.

Janis H. Nolasco

Office Manager

Janis is Kickstart office manager and the designated grown-up(!) in view of her 15+ years of experience in office management systems and administration.

She holds a BS in Clinical Psychology from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

Merivita Marasigan

Accountant

Bavi is the Kickstart accountant.

She is a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy graduate from the University of Batangas in Southern Luzon and has 14 years’ worth of experience in accounting working with small and medium enterprises, manufacturing companies, and government agencies.

Ernest L. Cu

Kickstart Investment Committee Chairman; Globe CEO

Ernest is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of Globe Telecom. Joining the company on 1 October 2008, he brings with him over two decades of general management and business development experience spanning multi-country operations. In 2010, he was declared Best CEO by Finance Asia and was conferred the International Association of Business Communicators Philippines (IABC/Philippines) CEO EXCEL Award for communication excellence in telecom and IT. In 2012, Ernest earned international accolade as CEO of the Year by Frost&Sullivan Asia Pacific.

Prior to joining Globe, he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of SPI Technologies, Inc., where he earned the Ernst & Young ICT Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2003.

Ernest earned his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management Engineering from De La Salle University in Manila and his Master of Business Administration from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University.

Alberto M. de Larrazabal

Kickstart IC Member; Globe Chief Commercial Officer

Alberto de Larrazabal is the Chief Commercial Officer of Globe.

As CCO, Albert drives the integration and execution of Globe’s strategies across all commercial units, including marketing, sales and channels, and product development for all segments of business. He joined Globe in 2006 as Head of the Treasury Division and became Chief Finance Officer in April 2010. Albert has had over two decades of extensive experience as a senior executive in Finance, Business Development, Treasury Operations, Joint Ventures, Mergers and Acquisitions, as well as Investment Banking and Investor Relations.

Prior to joining Globe, he held positions such as Vice President and Chief Finance Officer of the Marsman-Drysdale Corporation, Vice President and Head of the Consumer Sector – JP Morgan (Hong Kong), and Senior Vice President and Chief Finance Officer of San Miguel Corporation.

Minette B. Navarrete

Kickstart IC Member; Kickstart President

Minette is Vice-Chairman and President of Kickstart Ventures, Inc., the corporate venture capital subsidiary of Globe Telecom.  She is a member of the Ayala Corporation’s Innovation Advisory Council, and of Globe’s Innovation Advisory Board.  She is a Senior Vice President at Globe Telecom, focusing on New Business, and a member of the Board of Directors of AdSpark, Globe’s wholly owned digital advertising subsidiary. 

Minette has held a number of CEO/COO positions in various industries, ranging from scrappy Philippine startups to iconic global companies.

Peng T. Ong

Kickstart IC Member

Peng T. Ong is a Managing Director at Monk’s Hill Ventures, a technology venture fund. He sits on the boards of YY Inc. and Singapore University of Design & Technology, and also on the advisory board of the Chancellor of the University of Illinois.

Until recently, Peng was also on the boards of SingTel and Singapore’s National Research Foundation, and chaired Infocomm Investments. Peng founded Match.com (bought by IAC), Interwoven (now part of HP), and Encentuate (acquired by IBM).

The businesses he created now generate annual revenues that total more than US$1 billion. He has a master’s in Computer Science from UIUC and a BSEE from UT Austin. Peng is also an avid audiophile.

Myla Crespo-Villanueva

Kickstart IC Member

Myla Crespo-Villanueva is a technology entrepreneur. She has founded five startups and corporations in Asia over the past twenty-five years, and is a leader in the Philippine IT industry.

She is Managing Director of MDI , a pioneer and leading systems integrator and distributor for Dell, Cisco, IBM, Juniper, VMWare, Fireeye in the Philippines. MDI has introduced many innovations and firsts in its proud history.

Myla co-founded Wolfpac in 1999, a pioneer in Mobile Value-Added Applications and Services during the growth spurt of mobility in Asia. She also founded Meridian Telekoms in 2000, the first nationwide broadband wireless internet provider serving 7,100 islands. In 2005-2006, both companies were acquired by Smart Communications , the incumbent telecommunications company in the country with over 65 millions subscribers.

After acquiring two of her companies, Myla represented Smart Communications in the GSM Association in 2005-2010. GSM Association is the industry trade body representing 800 operators in more than 220 countries. She was part of its Executive Management Committee and was also named Chairperson of the GSMA Mobile Innovation Forum from 2007 to 2009, which linked an ecosystem of Venture Capital, Telecom Operators and mobile technology startups.

Myla was named Woman Entrepreneur of the Year in 2004, by the Entrepreneur of the year program of Ernst and Young, Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine Stock Exchange, Bankers Association of the Philippines and the Philippine Securities Exchange Commission. She was also named one of the Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service or TOWNS in 2010 for her pioneering work in the use of Information Technology in nation-building.

In 2006, she co-founded Novare Technologies with Craig Ehrlich, former GSMA Chairman and Mohan Gyani, former CEO of ATT Wireless. Novare is a consulting and solutions provider for telecommunications and banking in areas of customer lifecycle management, transformation technologies and mobility.

She is Regional President for Asia Pacific of the Global Telecom Women’s Network (GTWN), a global organization spearheading a yearly forum of for executive women active in telecommunications to ‘network’ and discuss current issues in the industry. Recently, she was also appointed as one of the chapter founders of Women Corporate Directors (WCD) in the Philippines.

Myla is a trustee of Go-Negosyo, which advocates entrepreneurship among Filipinos. She was a technical advisor to the PPCRV Chair (Philippine Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting) in the first-ever automated election in 2010 and is now part of the Board of Trustees.

She is a graduate of Santa Clara University, CA with a BS in Economics. Myla is married to Jun Villanueva with two children, Blanca 18, and Luis, 12.

Alberto M. de Larrazabal

Chairman of the Board

Alberto de Larrazabal is the Chief Commercial Officer of Globe.

As CCO, Albert drives the integration and execution of Globe’s strategies across all commercial units, including marketing, sales and channels, and product development for all segments of business. He joined Globe in 2006 as Head of the Treasury Division and became Chief Finance Officer in April 2010. Albert has had over two decades of extensive experience as a senior executive in Finance, Business Development, Treasury Operations, Joint Ventures, Mergers and Acquisitions, as well as Investment Banking and Investor Relations.

Prior to joining Globe, he held positions such as Vice President and Chief Finance Officer of the Marsman-Drysdale Corporation, Vice President and Head of the Consumer Sector – JP Morgan (Hong Kong), and Senior Vice President and Chief Finance Officer of San Miguel Corporation.

Ernest L. Cu

Board Member

Ernest is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of Globe Telecom. Joining the company on 1 October 2008, he brings with him over two decades of general management and business development experience spanning multi-country operations. In 2010, he was declared Best CEO by Finance Asia and was conferred the International Association of Business Communicators Philippines (IABC/Philippines) CEO EXCEL Award for communication excellence in telecom and IT. In 2012, Ernest earned international accolade as CEO of the Year by Frost&Sullivan Asia Pacific.

Prior to joining Globe, he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of SPI Technologies, Inc., where he earned the Ernst & Young ICT Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2003.

Ernest earned his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management Engineering from De La Salle University in Manila and his Master of Business Administration from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University.

Minette B. Navarrete

Board Member

Minette is Vice-Chairman and President of Kickstart Ventures, Inc., the corporate venture capital subsidiary of Globe Telecom.  She is a member of the Ayala Corporation’s Innovation Advisory Council, and of Globe’s Innovation Advisory Board.  She is a Senior Vice President at Globe Telecom, focusing on New Business, and a member of the Board of Directors of AdSpark, Globe’s wholly owned digital advertising subsidiary. 

Minette has held a number of CEO/COO positions in various industries, ranging from scrappy Philippine startups to iconic global companies.

Peng T. Ong

Board Member

Peng T. Ong is a Managing Director at Monk’s Hill Ventures, a technology venture fund. He sits on the boards of YY Inc. and Singapore University of Design & Technology, and also on the advisory board of the Chancellor of the University of Illinois.

Until recently, Peng was also on the boards of SingTel and Singapore’s National Research Foundation, and chaired Infocomm Investments. Peng founded Match.com (bought by IAC), Interwoven (now part of HP), and Encentuate (acquired by IBM).

The businesses he created now generate annual revenues that total more than US$1 billion. He has a master’s in Computer Science from UIUC and a BSEE from UT Austin. Peng is also an avid audiophile.

Rizza Maniego-Eala

Board Member

Rizza is the Chief Finance Officer, Treasurer and Chief Risk Officer at Globe Telecom.

She joined Globe in February 1998: her previous positions in the company included being an Assistant Vice-President for Financial Planning and Analysis, President of G-Xchange Inc. (mobile-commerce subsidiary), and Senior Vice President for International Business.

She has had extensive experience in financial planning and analysis, capital markets fund raising, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, investor relations, strategic planning, business development, and setting up and managing start-ups.

Prior to joining Globe, Rizza was Deputy Research Head for Natwest Markets. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Management Economics from the Ateneo de Manila University.

Vince G. Tobias

Strategy & Partnerships Director

Vince Tobias joins Kickstart as Director of Strategy and Partnerships reporting to Kickstart president Minette Navarrete. This will be concurrent to his role as head of Ayala Innovation, which he has led since its beginnings in 2012. Outside the Ayala walls, he has been a pioneer of the nascent corporate innovation community, and has been onstage in  dozens of key international conferences, alongside other leading thinkers and practitioners. Vince serves on the Board of Directors of the Global Innovation Management Institute (GIMI), the world-wide standard professional certification body, with the mission of developing innovation management as a management discipline, while democratizing innovation capability and catalyzing corporate culture.

Vince draws from eight years of management consulting experience — most recently with the Monitor Group, a top-tier strategy and innovation consulting firm founded by Harvard Business School Professor Michael E. Porter; and much earlier with Arthur Andersen’s Strategy Consulting practice in the Philippines, across the Asia-Pacific, and with AA’s Revenue Enhancement Competency Center headquartered in Chicago.

Vince also takes from experience in the startup world, where has led scale-ups internationally: as Managing Director (Malaysia) of K2, a pioneer digital agency now part of media giant the Publicis Groupe; as Regional Manager (Asia) of Intermedia Games UK, then the world’s biggest creator of cross-channel interactive games; and as co-founder of companies in the media, computing, and energy spaces.

Paolo B. Monteiro

Innovation Associate

Paolo “Monty” Monteiro joins Kickstart as Innovation Associate reporting to Vince Tobias, while continuing his role at Ayala Innovation where he helps drive disruptive thinking through trend analysis and new opportunities research; capability-building activities; and by organizing and participating in various internal and external innovation events, including Ayala’s annual Spark Innovation Conference. Monty also works with the Ayala Corporate Strategy team for special projects, group-wide strategic initiatives, and supports communications requirements of the Ayala leadership and Group Mancom.

Prior to joining Ayala in 2016, he was with the Makati Business Club for five years, where he specialized in communications, project management, and policy research and advocacy. During the Philippines’ hosting of the 2015 APEC Conference, he was appointed one of the leads of the Philippine youth delegation to APEC’s Voices of the Future Program and helped draft the APEC youth declaration statement.

Monty holds a  bachelor’s degree in Legal Management from the Ateneo de Manila University and studied on exchange at Mahidol University International College in Thailand.

Prior to joining Ayala in 2016, he was with the Makati Business Club for 5 years, where he specialized in communications, project management, and policy research and advocacy.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in Legal Management from the Ateneo de Manila University and studied on exchange at Mahidol University International College in Thailand. During the Philippines’ hosting of the APEC Conference in 2015, he was selected to be one of the leads of the Philippine youth delegation to the APEC Voices of the Future Program, where he was also part of the international team that drafted the conference’s youth declaration.

Jecky G. Pelaez

Legal Consultant

Jecky is Kickstart’s Legal Consultant, providing legal advisory and consultancy in areas such as company operations and systems, human resources, and corporate and regulatory compliance. He also supports the Kickstart Deal Team in deal screening, investment analysis, and due diligence.

Prior to Kickstart, Jecky was a lawyer with Siguion-Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako Law Offices and with Picazo, Buyco, Tan, Fider & Santos Law Offices, focusing on corporate and labor matters.

Jecky holds a BS in Management from the Ateneo de Manila University; a Juris Doctor from the University of the Philippines; and an MBA from the Said Business School, University of Oxford.