PLDT Inc. expects to close a deal in the first quarter of the year for the entry of a foreign financial and strategic partner in its digital innovations arm Voyager Innovations Inc.
“I think it will push through... soon [may be] first quarter,” PLDT chairman and president Manuel Pangilinan told reporters Wednesday.
Pangilinan said talks with the new foreign investors in Voyager were in advanced stages..
Rival Globe Fintech Innovations Inc., Mynt, a wholly-owned unit of Globe Capital Venture Holdings under Globe Telecom Inc. and Ayala Corp., earlier signed a strategic partnership with Ant Financial Services Group.
Ant Financial is an affiliate of Chinese billionaire Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group.
Voyager earlier extended its digital transformation program to help equip micro-, small- and medium-sized companies in the Philippines to become more competitive in the growing digital economy.
Under its Voyager DX for MSMEs program, the company is setting up DigiHub, a physical facility in its Launchpad headquarters in Mandaluyong City that entrepreneurs can use as a space for consultation, mentoring, learning and sharing.
Through DigiHub, Voyager aims to foster collaboration, accelerate learning and catalyze best practices among industry leaders, big enterprises and MSMEs. It will be fully operational with industry and trade partners by the first quarter this year.
“Enabling MSMEs is critical to economic progress, all the more so for emerging economies like the Philippines. We need the strong support of various stakeholders and players under one advocacy—that of enabling our MSMEs with digital technologies. Voyager’s DX program for MSMEs will jumpstart the digital transformation of small businesses in this country,” Pangilinan said.
Based on the most recent 2015 Philippine Statistics Authority figures, about 99.5 percent of all businesses in the country are micro, small, and medium enterprises. They are responsible for 35 percent of the gross domestic product of the country, providing work to around 60 percent of the total employed population.