Monday, April 15, 2024

Manila startup ecosystem posts 85% growth to $3.5B in new report

Manila made a huge leap in its startup ecosystem value this year, growing by 85% to post an impressive $3.5 billion from a value of $2.1 billion, according to the 2023 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER).

GSER 2023 ranks the top 30 as well as 10 runner-up global ecosystems and includes a top 100 ranking of emerging ecosystems.

Released at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam, the report cited Manila with numerous commendations, including:

  • Top 25 Global Ecosystem and Top 10 Asian Ecosystem in Affordable Talent, which measures the ability to hire tech talent
  • Top 20 Asian Ecosystem in Funding, which measures innovation through early stage funding and investor’s activity
  • Top 30 Asian Ecosystem in Bang for Buck, which measures the amount of runway tech startups acquire, on average, from a VC round
  • Top 30 Asian Ecosystem in Talent & Experience, which measures long term trends over the most significant performance factors and the ability to generate and keep talent in the ecosystem
  • Top 30 Asian Ecosystem in Performance, which measures the size and performance of an ecosystem based on the accumulated tech startup value created from exits and funding

“To witness Manila gaining traction as an innovation hub is incredibly rewarding. This underscores the Philippines’ transformation from an active player to a formidable leader in the Asean region — an achievement we share with the dynamic stakeholders of the Philippine startup ecosystem,” Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) secretary Fred Pascual said in a statement.

The report also emphasized the vibrancy of Manila’s fintech, e-commerce, and gaming sectors, attributing their growth to a high density of talent, dynamic startup activity, and the collaboration between government agencies and private stakeholders working towards improving innovation and entrepreneurship across the nation.

“Our impressive leap in the GSER 2023 Report is a testament of our sustained commitment to fostering a dynamic startup ecosystem. We have put in place mechanisms for continued growth, from streamlined government processes to strategic investment support mechanisms,” Pascual added, emphasizing the collective efforts of DTI, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to harmonize programs and resources thereby accelerating the innovative startup ecosystems.

The DTI highlighted the pivotal role of Innovative Startup Act, the Philippine Innovation Act, and the Ease of Doing Business Act in fueling Manila’s rise from a regional tech hub to a globally recognized player in the digital economy.

Rafaelita Aldaba, DTI undersecretary for the competitiveness and innovation Group (CIG), underscored the government’s investment in the nation’s human capital, recognizing its pivotal role in Manila’s tech innovation success.

The focus, she indicated, is centered on nurturing and developing the young, educated workforce that is driving Manila’s vibrant startup ecosystem.

Moreover, Aldaba pointed out the government’s dedicated efforts to foster innovation and skill development via the Science, Technology, and Innovation Industrialization strategy and the Philippine Skills Framework.

“We continue to invest in and inspire our young Filipino talent. Our strategy fosters scientific and technological innovation while the Skills Framework ensures they are equipped with competencies that are in demand. We firmly believe that our people are our primary competitive advantage in this era of industrial transformation,” she added.

Pascual echoed Aldaba’s sentiment stating, “Our greatest asset in this transformative era lies in our human resources. By strategically harnessing these resources, we’re laying the groundwork for the next wave of Filipino innovators, ensuring they leave an indelible mark on the global stage.”

The result of the 2023 GSER is quite opposite, however, to the study released by Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2023, which saw the country slide from 57th last year to 59th place this year.


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