Survey: Funding still top issue among PH startups but growing biz now main focus

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A new national survey has found that while capital requirements remain the top concern of local startup founders, the main challenge has shifted from funding to sustaining a viable business model.

This is according to the 2020 Philippine Startup Survey conducted by Isla Lipana & Co./PwC Philippines (PwC), which asked startup founders and investors about their current status as well as plans in the near-term.

The survey revealed that funding is still the main problem, with 77% of the founders citing capital requirements as the biggest challenge. However, 73% of the investors plan to invest up to $5 million in Philippine startups in the next three years.

The 2020 startup survey is PwC’s second collaboration with startup incubators QBO and IdeaSpace. This year, members from the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) also took part in the survey.

“We accomplish more when we work together as a community. The stories in this report are inspiring and give us all hope that anything is possible with dedication and a dream,” said Rene “Butch” Meily, QBO Innovation Hub and IdeaSpace president.

Despite recent developments, IdeaSpace executive director Diane Eustaquio said challenges will keep coming despite the progress made by the Philippine startup ecosystem over the last three years.

“Charging ahead, the 2020 Startup Survey brings to fore the issues we need to address to strengthen and bring the ecosystem towards maturity. I’m glad to know that fewer founders mention that funding is an issue. It shows they now understand how to address constraints and lessen risks,” Eustaquio said.

Alexander Cabrera, PwC Philippines chairman and senior partner, said he is optimistic that the number of local startups will expand significantly.

“This year, it is comforting that majority of the founders are scaling up. We are seeing that our founders want to do business, and stay in business,” he said.

“While we need more investors to help fund our startups, we also need the private sector to help by becoming the customers of our startups. We all need to work together to build sustainable businesses that will provide opportunities for Filipinos,” Cabrera added.

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