The Filipino fintech company, Mynt, backed by the country’s mobile operator, Globe Telecom, and China’s Ant Group, became the first unicorn in the Philippines after it raised $300 million from global investors. This took the firm’s valuation at over $2 billion.
Along with global investment giant Warburg Pincus, US-based global private equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners also participated in the investment round. Mynt’s existing investors, Bow Wave Capital, Globe and Ayala, also participated in the fund-raising round, together with Itai Tsiddon and Amplo Ventures.
Ant Group, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding, did not participate in the funding round, but remains a committed partner and shareholder of Mynt, with a 34% stake.
A Little About Mynt
Mynt was launched in 2015, as a partnership between Ant Financial, Ayala and Globe. The main product is the GCash app, through which customers can purchase prepaid airtime, receive money anywhere, pay bills at 600 billers in the country, and make a purchase from over 3 million merchant partners and social sellers. GCash registered over 1 trillion pesos ($20 billion) worth of gross transaction value in 2020, due to the growth in the adoption of online payments, bank cash-in, and online remittance.
The company also offers access to credit, savings, loans, insurance, investments, and other services. The company runs Fuse, an MSME finance platform, GInsure, a microinsurance product, and GCredit. The assets under management for its GSave platform stood at PHP 5 billion in 2020, growing to PHP 9 billion by the end of 2021.
Mynt currently has over 48 million users, with a strategy to reach PHP 3 trillion worth of gross transaction value, representing a more than 3-fold increase since 2020. Over 19 million peak daily app logins and 12 million daily active transactions have been recorded on the platform recently.
In 2021, Mynt launched its GLoan pilot program, a cash loan product that enables borrowers to get as much as PHP 25,000 as loan, with a 12-month repayment period. The company also plans to launch a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) product soon.
Growth of a Robust Fintech Ecosystem in the Philippines
This new round of funding indicates the strong growth of the fintech ecosystem and digital banking market in the Philippines. In 2020, 212 fintech companies were operating in the country, a significant rise from a mere 33 firms in 2012. The pandemic has further boosted the adoption of digital payments services, readily adopted by a young and urbanised population in the Philippines. As per a report by Startup Genome, 15% of the start-ups in Manila are fintech companies, and the market is expected to grow from $5.7 billion in 2018 to $10.5 billion by 2022.
With 70% of the adult population in the country being unbanked or under-banked, there is huge scope for fintech products to gain adoption here. Only 15% of the people have access to formal credit, while less than 5% have credit cards. Insurance access is even lower than that.
Platforms like Mynt are set to revolutionise access to online financial services in the country. The Philippines is a rapidly growing economy, and demand for seamless and easy financial services is only expected to grow. Its young population will further demand that much of this be served digitally.