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IFC invests $40M in PLDT unit

/ 05:06 AM December 11, 2018

Voyager Innovations, the financial technology arm of telco giant PLDT Inc., has successfully completed a $215-million (P11.3 billion) fund-raising round from global investors.

Voyager, which developed platforms such as the mobile wallet PayMaya, said it had closed a $40-million agreement with new investor International Finance Corp. and IFC Emerging Asia Fund.

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This followed the announcement last month that China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd. and United States-based investment fund KKR took a stake in Voyager for $175 million.

PLDT chair and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said the deals would provide Voyager with ample financing for at least two years. He said PLDT’s stake in Voyager would fall to 48 percent—still the single-biggest block.

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PLDT, during its previous quarterly briefing, said the entry of new investors would provide “funding relief” amid its own plans to accelerate capital spending in its core telco business.

Investors such as Tencent, the developer of WeChat, a massive messaging, social media and payments app, would lend expertise to Voyager’s own technology platforms.

According to PLDT, Voyager had lost some P1.8 billion from January to September this year.

PLDT chief financial officer Annabelle Chua said the investment included about $50 million in advances made by PLDT. This would approximately cover PLDT’s investment for the year.

For 2018 alone, PLDT is spending a record P58 billion to upgrade its mobile and fixed-line networks. It also announced a spending budget of P180 billion for the next three years or some P60 billion a year.

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