Three angel ventures—a digital platform for non-techy sellers, an online community for K-culture fans, and an IT skills training program for increased employability—successfully secured funding from 917Ventures, the country’s largest corporate venture builder wholly-owned by Globe Telecom Inc., to bring them closer to their dreams.
Two of the ventures, Fanlife and KodeGo, belonged to the first batch which joined 917Ventures’ three-month Velocity bootcamp in December. The third, BentaTV, came from the company’s internal Venture Builder program.
Velocity program brings external talent and their ideas into the 917Ventures family, to provide them the opportunity to create businesses with the growth levers and network advantage of operating within 917Ventures and Globe. Each venture is receiving up to P2.5 million initial funding.
Vince Yamat, 917Ventures managing director, expressed pride to have three budding businesses move on to the seed round.
“We are happy to find ideas that are aligned with our vision of improving the digital lifestyle of Filipinos and helping solve social issues through technology. These ventures are already getting ready to spin off into a company so we are here to provide them with the support they need,” Yamat said.
“We look forward to seeing them grow and take off to be successful digital pioneers,” he said.
With K-culture being very popular in the Philippines, Fanlife brings fans closer to their favorite K-Pop or K-Drama stars through exclusive experiences such as virtual concerts and livestreams, and official merchandise. Aside from Korean artists, Fanlife also connects the fans to their other local and international favorites all within the website.
“Velocity has been a great platform for us to finally get this idea into fruition, to finally have something for artists and fans to keep connecting despite the pandemic,” Aya Villa-Real of Fanlife said.
KodeGo is an online bootcamp for those who would like to learn or improve in various areas of IT so they can land the right jobs. It offers a “learn now, pay later” model where students can focus on learning without financial stress. Students only start to pay a percentage of their income once they land a job with a P30,000 minimum income threshold.
“We want to produce great innovators, so we equip our students to become frontrunners in digital transformation. Technology is continuously moving forward, and more companies are looking for excellent software engineering skills. We want to help Filipinos get better chances of improving their lives through increased employability,” said Joshua Sta. Ana of KodeGo.
Sta. Ana, who is now 20 years old, joined as a 19-year-old sophomore. He has fully entrusted KodeGo to 917Ventures to focus on his studies.
Meanwhile, BentaTV is an online seller platform that simplifies live-selling and social media selling processes for non-tech-savvy informal merchants. This allows sellers to easily start and grow their online business with just a mobile phone and an internet connection.
“Many online selling platforms are already competing in the Philippine market but we saw the lack of focus on the sellers. With the pandemic restricting face-to-face transactions, many merchants are taking the online-selling route, mainly live selling, to showcase their products. We envisioned BentaTV to make it smoother for these sellers to make the transition,” said Gio Tantoco of BentaTV.
917Ventures continues to ideate, launch and accelerate new business ideas that have the potential to grow and scale fast. It also provides venture builders the advantage of working with companies and other startups under 917Ventures and the Globe group to maximize their reach and opportunities.
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