PLDT takes 33% stake in venture with Rocket Internet
PHILIPPINE Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) is investing 30 million euros for a minority stake in a venture with Germany’s Rocket Internet AG aimed at developing Internet-based businesses in the country.
PLDT, through Voyager Innovations Inc., said in a statement that the amount would give it an initial 33.3-percent stake in the venture called Philippines Internet Group. PLDT said it had an option to increase its stake to 50 percent.
Philippines Internet Group, meanwhile, will be controlled by the Asia Pacific Internet Group, which is 50 percent owned by Rocket Internet. PLDT currently owns about 6.6 percent of Rocket Internet.
Following the successful model of Rocket’s four existing Regional Internet Groups, Philippines Internet Group will leverage local market and business model insights, facilitate commercial, strategic and investment partnerships, enable local recruitment and sourcing and accelerate the rollout of online startups.
It will drive the activities of high-growth companies which are already operating in the Philippines like Lamudi, Carmudi, Clickbus and Pricepanda, and aims to launch numerous new companies in the coming quarters.
For PLDT, this marks a milestone in its strategy to increase investments in businesses that provide digital growth opportunities and develop new revenue streams.
This is supported by increasing disposable income and Internet penetration—key drivers for eCommerce growth—in the Philippines where a vast majority of mobile subscribers are tech-savvy and open to alternative payment systems for their daily purchases.
“At PLDT, we are firmly committed to paving the way for the country’s digital future. We have already built the Philippines’ most extensive Internet infrastructure,” PLDT president Napoleon Nazareno said in the statement.
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