Manila ranks 36th in top emerging startup ecosystems

Manila has been ranked 36th in the annual Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) 2020, the inaugural ranking of the world’s top 100 emerging ecosystems by research and policy advisory firm Startup Genome.

The GSER 2020, which surveyed 250 ecosystems all over the world, puts the value of Manila’s startup ecosystem at $1.6 billion, with a total early stage funding of $102 million over the last two and a half years. It is among the startup ecosystems in its activation phase, together with Busan in Korea, Calgary in Canada, Frankfurt in Germany, and Taipei in Taiwan.

Among Manila’s strengths as a top emerging ecosystem are its market reach (or the early-stage startup access to customers allowing them to scale and go global), as well as talent and experience (or the access to talent by early-stage startups). These place Manila among the top 20 ecosystems for “Bang for Buck” and among the top 30 ecosystems for “Affordable Talent”.

The GSER 2020 identify fintech and e-commerce as Manila’s ecosystem sub-sector strengths. Fintech companies account for almost 15% of Manila’s startups, with a transaction value reaching approximately $10 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow by 24% in 2020, while taking into account the expected impact of Covid-19.

On the other hand, the e-commerce industry is growing at a CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) of 26.4%, which is one of the fastest rates in Southeast Asia.

“The proliferation of fintech and e-commerce startups in the country is a testament to the abundance of opportunities in the Philippine market,” said DTI undersecretary for competitiveness and innovation Rafaelita Aldaba.

“By mutually reinforcing one another, these two sectors are enabling the growth of traditional sellers and buyers despite today’s trying times. Our young, creative, and resourceful pool of talent will keep our ecosystem vibrant and competitive in the years ahead.”

The DTI, along with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), are the lead implementing agencies of the Innovative Startup Act, which mandates the collaboration among members of the startup community, support the scaling up of startup enterprises, and foster their global expansion.

“We strongly believe that Filipino startups can compete globally, especially with the right collaborators. We are constantly looking out for the chances to showcase the solutions and services they can offer to meet market demands and address social needs. We look forward to seeing our startups grabbing the attention of more mentors and investors as we promote them in the world market,” said Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) director Senen Perlada.

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