Voyager Innovations, the company behind PayMaya and neobank Maya Bank, raises US$210 million in new funds, propelling Voyager’s valuation to unicorn plus status, at nearly US$1.4 billion. 

Leading the round is new investor SIG Venture Capital, the Asian venture capital arm of SIG. Other new investors include Singapore-based global investor EDBI and investment holding company First Pacific Company Ltd.

Also participating in the round are Voyager’s existing shareholders PLDT, the Philippines’ largest integrated telecommunications company; KKR, a global investment firm; Tencent, a leading technology company; International Finance Corporation (“IFC”); and IFC Emerging Asia Fund and IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund, two funds managed by the IFC Asset Management Company, a division of IFC. 

Voyager Innovations will use the new funds to launch Maya Bank services, such as savings and credit, which will be offered seamlessly across PayMaya’s platforms for consumers and enterprises, including micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises or MSMEs. It will also continue to expand PayMaya’s offering with new products like cryptocurrency, micro-investments, insurance, and more, as the all-in-one money app of the Philippines. 

This integrated ecosystem approach uniquely positions it among e-wallets, banks, and fintech players in the Philippines. PayMaya is the only fintech serving all segments of consumers and enterprises with a widely used consumer e-wallet app, the leading enterprise payment processing business, and the most extensive on-ground agent network, Smart Padala. Over the years, PayMaya has built the end-to-end rails for this unique ecosystem and now plans to leverage that infrastructure with proprietary applications, especially for launching Maya Bank services such as consumer and merchant credit and savings.

The Philippines is the fastest-growing market in Southeast Asia, with digital adoption of services reaching tipping points during the pandemic, driven by the demands of a young, digital-savvy population. According to the 2021 e-Conomy Southeast Asia Report by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company, the country’s internet economy grew 94% from 2020 to 2021 and is expected to grow to US$40 billion by 2025, powered by growth in e-commerce and strong adoption of e-wallet payments.  

Despite this accelerated trajectory, the Philippines remain a vastly underserved market with solid growth opportunities. Half of the adult population remains unbanked. About 47% of Filipino adults do not have savings, and of those with savings, one in two save via informal means. Only 1 in 3 adults have loans, of which a mere 18% are availing from banks.

The enormous digital financial services opportunity extends to MSMEs. These businesses account for 99.5% of the total establishments and employ 62.8% of the entire labor force in the country. However, access to credit and financial services for MSMEs remains a challenge, with only 24% availing loans or having lines of credit from formal financial institutions. 

PayMaya and Maya Bank seek to address the challenge of spurring deeper adoption in a country with limited merchant acceptance and banking presence by providing end-to-end services from an integrated ecosystem.  

As of end-March 2022, PayMaya had over 47 million registered users across its consumer platforms – more than two-thirds of the adult population in the Philippines. PayMaya recently introduced cryptocurrency through its e-wallet app after securing a Virtual Asset Services Provider (VASP) license from the BSP.  

It is the leading non-bank enterprise payments processor in the Philippines, enabling over 630,000 online and face-to-face touchpoints to accept digital payments from e-wallets and QR to any credit, debit, and prepaid card. 

PayMaya’s extensive on-ground presence through its over 63,000 Smart Padala agent touchpoints has allowed it to be embedded in grassroots communities, serving as de-facto financial hubs for the underserved Filipinos. 

Voyager entered the digital banking space with Maya Bank, securing one of the six digital banking licenses from the BSP in September 2021 and commencing pilot testing in March 2022.  

PayMaya and Maya Bank’s thrust will help fast-track the country’s goals of transforming 50% of the total volume of retail payments to digital and expanding the financially included to 70% of Filipino adults by 2023.

Featured Image: Voyager Innovations Facebook

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