Globe Telecom said on Tuesday, Oct. 26, that it is slowly pivoting away from its core telecommunications business to become a digital solutions platform over the next five to 10 years to cater to rapid consumer digital adoption.
In a virtual forum organized by the Makati Business Club, Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu said the company continues its transformation into a digital solutions group by exploring adjacent business space. It currently offers several diverse high-growth enterprises in healthtech, fintech, adtech, and e-commerce, among others.
“I think Globe, four or five years or maybe even ten years from now, will be a digital platform. This is very similar to what Google has done, where they used their search as a basis to create new businesses. Or what companies like Grab has done where they used their ride-hailing app to create new businesses. We use telco as the platform to create new businesses,” Cu said.
One of Globe’s businesses created to leverage the firm’s assets and expertise is e-wallet provider GCash. It boasts over 48 million registered users, three million digital touchpoints, 69,000 cash-in and cash-out agents, and 700 billers. GCash remains on track to triple its gross transactions handled to P3 trillion this year from about P1 trillion last year.
“Our objective is to create this flywheel that keeps spinning faster and faster, creating new businesses. And the vision is if you can create a large GCash business, which is the only Philippine dollar unicorn out of the telco business, imagine the third business that we create with the help of both Globe and GCash. Globe has over 81 million mobile subscribers, and GCash has 48 million,” Cu pointed out.
Aside from GCash, other portfolio companies under Globe’s corporate builder 917Ventures include telehealth service platforms KonsultaMD and HealthNow, a digital and mobile marketing solutions firm. It also has adtech company AdSpark, loyalty, and e-commerce solutions provider RUSH, and online grocery shopping platform PureGo.
Innovations under 917Ventures are online learning platform Edventure, marketplace fanlife, online study-now-pay-later bootcamp KodeGo, A2P messaging platform M360, online seller platform BentaTV, and self-service dashboard iNQUiRO.
Globe said it also continues to scale up its information technology solutions and services through multi-payment platform Electronic Commerce Payments Inc. (ECPay) that aims to onboard 70,000 general trade retailers this year.
Globe’s corporate venture capital arm, Kickstart Ventures, now has $240 million aggregate assets under management from a mere $2.4 million in 2012, focusing on among others, media, content and advertising, healthtech, and logistics tech.