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US impact fund SEAF invests in Philippine startup CloudCfo

CloudCfo offers an array of cloud services that include accounting, bookkeeping, tax compliance, and financial reporting.

CloudCfo, a provider of online accounting, bookkeeping, and finance services for SMEs, has received an undisclosed amount of capital from the impact investing fund manager Small Enterprise Assistance Fund (SEAF), the Philippines-based company announced on Sunday.

The US fund made the investment through its Women’s Opportunity Fund, which is backed by the Australian government and aims to inject up to AUD 1.4 million (USD 1 million) per deal into growth-oriented and women-led firms in Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines, according to SEAF’s website. It’s the fund’s second investment in the Philippines.

SEAF senior managing director Jennifer Buckley said that CloudCfo is providing critical services that  help fostering the development of the startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Philippines. “We are impressed by the strong expansion of its customer base, particularly among women entrepreneurs, while exhibiting solid retention metrics,” she said.

CloudCfo founder and CEO Mickael Cardoso Das Neves said that the company will use the investment to grow faster across the three key business areas, expand its services, invest in technology, and develop in-house expertise, as well as its own people.

The company was born in 2016 out of a surging demand for reliable and affordable accounting and finance services across the Philippines’ startup and SME community. Based in Mandaluyong City, Manila, it offers an array of cloud services, including accounting, bookkeeping, tax compliance, and financial reporting services.

SMEs urged to digitize

SMEs are the backbone of the country’s economy, making up 99% of all registered enterprises and 63% of the labor force, according to statistics from the Department of Trade and Industry. Think tanks such as the Institute of Corporate Directors are urging small and medium enterprises to undergo digital transformation and harness the benefits of technological developments. Sluggish economic growth amid COVID-19 has further increased the pressure.

“In the midst of alternative working arrangements and internal restructurings, businesses have been leveraging cloud accounting solutions to minimize disruption and maintain oversight and management across their accounting, finance, and compliance functions,” said Cardoso. “We expect this trend to continue as more and more businesses transition to digital.”

SEAF made its first investment in the Philippines in March, backing cosmetics brand Ellana Cosmetics.