Voyager Innovations, the Manila-based owner of PayMaya, one of the Philippines’ most popular payment and financial services apps, announced today that it has raised $ 167 million in new funds to support additional financial services, including a digital bank to introduce.
The increase includes $ 121 million in new funding and $ 46 million in previously committed funding. Voyager announced in April 2020 that it had secured up to $ 120 million in investment commitments from PLDT, KKR, Tencent, the International Finance Group (IFC) and the IFC Emerging Asia Fund.
The latest capital came from existing shareholders PLDT, one of the country’s largest telecommunications companies, KKR and Tencent, and new investors including the IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund, managed by IFC AMC, a member of the World Bank Group (another investor in Voyager ).
Voyager has raised $ 452 million since 2018.
In addition to its competitors GCash and Coins, PayMaya is one of the most popular financial “super apps” in the Philippines. Services include a digital wallet, online money transfers, bill payments, bank transfers, prepaid cards, and an e-commerce feature called PayMaya Mall that connects consumers with 350 merchants.
In its funding announcement today, Voyager said it has applied for a digital banking license from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Philippine central bank. A Voyager representative said the Neobank would be formed about six months after Voyager received its license.
PayMaya has more than 250,000 touchpoints for access to digital finance such as convenience stores where users can fund their accounts. Voyager says there are seven times as many ATMs and bank branches in the Philippines that PayMaya is more accessible than traditional banks, especially in remote or rural areas.
According to the BSP, around 71% of Filipinos did not have a bank account as of 2019. The BSP has set goals for financial inclusion it aims to achieve by 2023, including incorporating 70% of Filipino adults into payment or transactional accounts and converting 50% of all retail payments to digital.
PayMaya and Smart Padala by PayMaya, their wire transfer service, say the total number of registered users has doubled in 18 months to 38 million in June 2021. This year, Voyager also began using PayMaya to provide working capital loans for small and medium-sized businesses through PayMaya Lending Corp and PayMaya Protect health and equipment insurance policies.