GCash operator raises $175 million via equity fund

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star
GCash operator raises $175 million via equity fund
GCash is coming from a record 2020 wherein more Filipinos turned to digital services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Philstar.com / Gladys Cruz

MANILA, Philippines — Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. (Mynt), the operator of mobile wallet GCash and the fintech arm of Globe Telecom Inc., has raised over $175 million in fresh capital through an investment from New York-based investment firm Bow Wave Capital Management.

The investment, made through ASP Philippines LP, a limited partnership fund managed by Bow Wave, is expected to further spur the growth of financial inclusion and the digitization of payments and financial services in the country.

Bow Wave’s investment in Mynt is its first in the Philippines and will translate to a minority equity interest, according to Mynt, without disclosing specific details.

Mynt said the fresh capital from Bow Wave and its existing shareholders was raised in multiple tranches, with post-money valuation of the final tranches at close to $1 billion.

In an interview back in September 2019, Globe president and Mynt chairman Ernest Cu said the company’s goal was to make Mynt a billion-dollar company in less than two years given the projected growth of GCash.

“This investment from Bow Wave is a validation of both what we have accomplished as well as the potential of GCash in unlocking digital services in the Philippines,” Mynt president and CEO Martha Sazon said.

“The pandemic has acted as a catalyst in highlighting the importance of digital finance in society today and with this investment from Bow Wave, we look forward to further living out our vision of finance for all, enabling democratized access to payment and financial services to every Filipino,” she said.

Bow Wave is a close-ended private equity fund with a mandate to invest globally in online and mobile payment ecosystem companies, particularly in strategic partners and investments of the Ant Financial and Alibaba Group.

Mynt is owned by Globe, Ayala Corp. and Ant Financial, an affiliate of Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group.

“Mynt has made great strides in the fintech space in the Philippines. Recognizing this fact and our shared values, Bow Wave supports the vision of Mynt to provide finance for all Filipinos. We are excited for this investment and we hope to add value to Mynt as it realizes its vision,” Bow Wave founder Itai Lemberger said.

GCash is coming from a record 2020 wherein more Filipinos turned to digital services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It recorded gross transaction value of over 1 trillion last year, driven by services like online payments, bank cash-in and sending money.

The mobile wallet has so far empowered over 33 million Filipinos with digital financial tools and services such as transacting physically and online, purchasing airtime load, opening deposit accounts, saving and investing in money market funds, and acquiring insurance products.

“We have made significant gains in 2020 that further cemented our status as the leading finance app in the country,” Cu said.

“We are further encouraged by the fact that Mynt’s momentum has continued, even as the country moved out of quarantine restrictions, suggesting a fundamental shift in our customers’ behavior towards a cashless lifestyle. We are confident in Mynt’s future prospects as a unicorn in the Philippines,” he said.

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