PE, VC firms launch group to stir startup investments in the Philippines

Philippine startups are lagging behind their Southeast Asian counterparts in terms of venture capital funding.

Venture capital and private equity players in the Philippines are forming an industry association to stir up the startup investment space in the country. It wants to act as a unified voice representing professional and institutional investors in the Philippines, according to a release posted on Kickstart Ventures’ website.

The launch of the Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of the Philippines (VCAP) comes at a time when Philippine startups are lagging behind their Southeast Asian counterparts in terms of venture capital funding, based on publicly available data.

VCAP is a non-stock, non-profit corporation that counts VC and PE firms ICCP SBI Venture Partners, Navegar, Endeavor Philippines, and Kickstart Ventures Inc. as founding members.

“It is a forum to promote a greater understanding of the roles VC and PE play in economic growth, to foster the growth of entrepreneurship and innovation, to encourage foreign investments into the VC and PE sectors in the Philippines, as well as to facilitate interaction and collaboration amongst its members,” said William Valtos Jr., VCAP chairman and president and ICCP SBI Venture Partners senior managing director.

Additionally, VCAP treasurer and Navegar managing partner said the launch of VCAP will give local and foreign investors “an accessible forum for sharing marketing information” and discussing policies and practices deemed of concern to VC and PE institutions and professionals.

VCAP said it is committed to helping address the lack of deep understanding among local startups about how to attract capital even as the desire for more capital remains high.

Earlier, Golden Gate Ventures partner Justin Hall said that while the Philippine startup scene is a bit tricky, it has potential. The Singapore-based VC firm aims to fund more Filipino startups this year.

Another VC firm that manifests its interest in the Filipino startup scene is Shanghai- and Kuala Lumpur-based Gobi Partners, which has earmarked a US$10 million Philippine-focused fund.

Editor: Nadine Freischlad