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Philippines’ payment app PayMaya owner raises $167 million

Voyager Innovations, owner and developer of the Philippines’ most popular financial services and payment app PayMaya, announced raising $167 million funding, according to a press release.

The company says it will use the funding to launch more financial services, including a “neobank,” capital loans for micro- and mid-sized businesses, and insurance for health and device coverage. In the funding announcement, Voyager said it has already applied for a digital bank license with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Philippines’ central bank, and plans to launch the digital bank approximately six months after securing the license, according to TechCrunch.

“As we did with payments and remittances, we will enable the large masses of Filipinos to leapfrog into a new stage of financial inclusion through integrated digital financial services,” Voyager President Shailesh Baidwan stated in the press release.

The funding round includes $121 million in new funding and $46 million from previously committed funds, from existing investors including PLDT, KKR and Tencent. International Financial Institutions Growth Fund is a new investor which also participated in the capital injection.

The investment brings Voyager’s total funding raised to $452 million since 2018, when the company raised $215 million through two private equity rounds led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Tencent, International Finance Corporation and PLDT.

Voyager’s PayMaya is the most popular financial app in the Philippines and has over 250,000 digital-finance access points across the country where consumers can add money to their accounts. The “super app” offers a wide range of services, including a digital wallet, bank transfers, online remittances, bill payments, prepaid cards and an e-commerce tool that allows users to connect with a merchant network.

PayMaya has been successful in the country, in part due to the 71% of residents who do not use a bank. Voyager’s remittance service, Smart Padala by PayMaya, claims to have 38 million total registered users today, a 100% increase over the past 18 months. The company became the country’s first fintech company to adopt QR Ph, the national standard for merchant payments.

The platform is now used by over half the adult population of the Philippines and has posted a 400% increase in merchant acceptance points. In addition to payment services for Filipino e-commerce, food, retail and gas merchants, PayMaya also assists over 70 national and social service agencies and local government units with digital payment and disbursement services.

Additional arms of the application include lending service Negosyo Advance and health coverage PayMaya Protect.

In other recent fintech news, credit card transformation startup Deserve raised $50 million in a Series D led by Mastercard, Mission Holdings and Ally Ventures. Visa also acquired European open-banking fintech Tink for over $2 billion.

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