Globe Telecom Inc. said Tuesday it is accelerating its shift to become a digital solutions platform over the next five to 10 years as it slowly pivots away from core telecommunications business spurred by rapid consumer digital adoption.
Globe president and chief executive Ernest Cu said in a virtual forum organized by the Makati Business Club the company continues its transformation into a digital solutions group by exploring adjacent business space. It offers several diverse high-growth enterprises in health tech, fintech, adtech and e-commerce, among others.
“I think Globe, four or five years or maybe even ten years from now, will be a digital platform. This is very similar to what Google has done, where they used their search as a basis to create new businesses. Or what companies like Grab has done where they used their ride-hailing app to create new businesses. We use telco as the platform to create new businesses,” Cu said.
One of Globe’s businesses created to leverage the firm’s assets and expertise is GCash, the undisputed e-wallet market leader in the Philippines. It boasts of over 48 million registered users, three million digital touchpoints, 69,000 cash-in and cash-out agents and 700 billers. GCash remains on track to triple its gross transactions handled to P3 trillion this year from about P1 trillion last year. It is the first mover and only mobile wallet with a full suite of accessible financial services.
“Our objective is to create this flywheel that keeps spinning faster and faster, creating new businesses. And the vision is if you can create a large GCash business, which is the only Philippine dollar unicorn out of the telco business. Imagine the third business that we create with the help of both Globe and GCash. Globe has over 81 million mobile subscribers and GCash has 48 million,” Cu said.
Aside from GCash, other portfolio companies under Globe’s corporate builder 917Ventures include telehealth service platforms KonsultaMD and HealthNow, a digital and mobile marketing solutions firm. It also has adtech company AdSpark, loyalty and e-commerce solutions provider RUSH and online grocery shopping platform PureGo.
Innovations under 917Ventures are online learning platform Edventure, marketplace fanlife, online study-now-pay-later bootcamp KodeGo, A2P messaging platform M360, online seller platform BentaTV and self-service dashboard iNQUiRO.
Globe continues to scale up its information technology solutions and services through multi-payment platform Electronic Commerce Payments Inc. that aims to onboard 70,000 general trade retailers this year.
Globe’s corporate venture capital arm, Kickstart Ventures, now has $240 million in aggregate assets under management from a mere $2.4 million in 2012, focusing on media, content and advertising, healthtech and logistics tech.
To support the connectivity needs of businesses and the public, Globe earmarked a record P76 billion for capital expenditures this year.
This allowed the company to put up 641 new cell towers, upgrade 8,175 mobile sites, build 1,906 5G sites nationwide as of end-September and lay down over one million high-speed broadband lines.