PH venture capital firms form investment industry organization

Top 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.

Photo shows (from left) VCAP founding members Juan Carlos Camara, associate at Navegar; Jennifer Alcabao, director at ICCP SBI  Venture Partners; Dan Ichikawa Siazon, senior vice-president and 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 and vice-chairman at Kickstart Ventures; and Manny Ayala, managing director at Endeavor Philippines

Called the Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of the Philippines (VCAP), the non-stock, non-profit corporation was the brainchild of ICCP SBI Venture Partners, Navegar, Endeavor Philippines, and Kickstart Ventures 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.

Comment on this post