Global report cites Manila for active startup scene, fintech subsector

The Manila startup ecosystem ranked high in five categories in the Global Startup Ecosystem Report released recently by research firm Startup Genome.

In the report, Manila was identified as one of the top Activation Phase Ecosystems in the world, together with Taipei, Busan, Calgary, and Frankfurt.  As a result of the assessment, Manila got the following rankings:

  • Top 10 in the global ecosystem for Bang for Buck
  • Top 5 in the Activation Ecosystem for Connectedness
  • Top 5 in Exit Growth Index
  • Top 6 in Output Growth Index
  • Top 9 in Funding Growth Index.

It also highlighted Manila’s subsector strength, fintech, which comprises 15% of the Manila startups. According to the report, fintech transaction in the country value reached about $5.7 billion last year and is expected to hit $10.5 billion by 2022.

It noted that First Circle, a Philippine-based financial technology lender that provides businesses with supply chain financing to meet larger client demands and improve bargaining position with trading partners, was able to raise $26 million in 2018.

Also, local bitcoin firm Coins.ph was acquired for $72 million this year and Voyager Innovations received $215 million in investment funds in 2018.

In the report, Manila was included in the top 5 for Local Connectedness, which means that founders informally receive help from investors, experts, and fellow founders; Founder Relationships wherein it measures the number of quality relationships between local founders; and Collision Index which assesses log of number of local tech events and density of tech events.

The Exit Growth Index measures tech startup exits in the ecosystem from 2015-2016 to 2017-2018. On the other hand, Output Growth Index assesses the total startup creation in the ecosystem, calculated in an annualized growth rate from 2014 to 2018.

It was also found out that Manila has an experienced pool of tech talent with its reputable outsourcing industry, and a pool of talent from the country’s different universities, and robust English-language skills. The report noted that this gives founders access to employees that are skilled and knowledgeable.

The report also highlighted the strong legal and regulatory support that startups in the Philippines get through the Youth Entrepreneurship Act Program, Philippine Innovation Act, and the Innovative Startup Act. The Youth Entrepreneurship Act Program promotes finance and startup skills while the Philippine Innovation Act and the Innovative Startup Act cultivate an innovative entrepreneurial culture and promote the development and growth of innovation and startups.

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