International Finance Corp. investing $40 million in Voyager
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - November 27, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The International Finance Corp. (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and a fund managed by its wholly owned subsidiary are investing $40 million in Voyager Innovations Inc., joining  global investment firm KKR and China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd. as new investors in PLDT’s digital innovations arm.

PLDT announced yesterday the signing of agreements under which IFC and IFC Emerging Asia, a fund managed by IFC Asset Management Co., will subscribe to a total of $40 million in newly issued shares in Voyager for a minority stake.

The telco giant said the investment is expected to help further expand financial inclusion in the country and promote the digital economy through broader use of digital payments through Voyager, which is behind products and services such as PayMaya and Lendr. 

IFC and IFC Emerging Asia’s investment brings the total funding raised by Voyager to $215 million, in addition to the previously announced subscription by KKR and Tencent of $175 million worth of newly-issued shares.

PLDT said the combined investment continues to be the largest to date in a Philippine technology company.

“We at PLDT are happy to welcome the investment of the International Finance Corp. and the IFC Emerging Asia Fund in Voyager Innovations. In this undertaking, we are kindred spirits. Through its Global Innovative Retail Payments Program, IFC aims to make financial services much more accessible and affordable to the world’s low-income population by supporting innovative financial services. That is precisely the goal that PLDT is pursuing through Voyager’s platforms,” PLDT and Smart Communications chairman and chief executive officer Manuel V. Pangilinan said.

Voyager is regarded as the country’s leading digital technology company with focus on developing customer-centric emerging market platforms in the areas of digital payments and marketing technologies.

Once the deals with the new investors are closed, PLDT’s ownership stake in Voyager will be less than 50 percent, but it would remain as the single largest shareholder in the company.

“Our mission is to accelerate digital and financial inclusion in the Philippines, so all Filipinos can participate in the digital economy. IFC and IFC Emerging Asia Fund’s investment will enable us to scale up our efforts especially in the digital  financial services space,” Voyager president and chief executive officer Orlando Vea said.

As a member of the World Bank Group, IFC is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Wholly owned subsidiary IFC Asset Management, meanwhile, mobilizes and manages capital to invest in businesses in developing and frontier markets.

In early October, Voyager signed subscription agreements to raise a total of $175 million of new funding via the issuance of new shares to global investment firm KKR and Tencent, a leading provider of internet services in China.

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