Sari-sari store enabler to represent PH at 2023 Startup World Cup | Inquirer Business

Sari-sari store enabler to represent PH at 2023 Startup World Cup

/ 12:06 PM October 24, 2022

Retail technology startup Packworks bagged the top spot in the Philippine leg of the Startup World Cup (SWC), earning the right to represent the country and vie for the $1-million grand prize at the 2023 SWC Grand Finale in Silicon Valley.

The SWC startup competition is organized by Pegasus Tech Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based global venture capital firm.

“It’s truly an honor to represent the Philippines for the 2023 Startup World Cup Grand Finale in San Francisco. The pitch is just a summary of the mission we have set out to do. We plan to continue uplifting the lives of our sari-preneurs all over the Philippines by providing them with the right tools to transform challenges into opportunities. By December next year, we aim to be in at least 350,000 sari-sari stores nationwide,” said Packworks CEO Bing Tan.


During the regional Wildfire pitch competition at the Ignite 2022 Fusion’s hybrid conference, Packworks bested nine other early-stage startup finalists. Sharing the podium were runners-up Smile API, a digital platform that fast-tracks financial application processes, and, which provides worker benefits like healthcare to freelancers and solo entrepreneurs.


“We think the key differentiator for Packworks is what we stand for. We are solving a massive issue and we want to create a sustainable and inclusive model of commerce for the 1.3 million sari-sari stores in the country. People must understand that solving the inclusion problem for sari-sari stores means solving the problems of the brand owners and their distributors. We cannot fix this problem by only solving one of the links; that’s why it’s called a supply chain,” Tan said.

Founded in 2018, Packworks offers a business-to-business platform for community-based micro-retailers or sari-sari stores and empowers them with financial literacy through an integrated mobile app ecosystem called “Super Sari Store App.”

Through the app, store owners can process their business’ inventory, bookkeeping, and data collection.

They can also avail themselves of financial products and order supplies for a lower price without the hassle of coordinating and purchasing new stocks.

Analytics tool

Recently, Packworks officially launched its business intelligence tool Sari IQ, which provides data analytics on the behavior and spending habits of consumers who buy from mom-and-pop or “sari-sari” stores.

Packworks co-founder and chief marketing officer Ibba Bernardo unveiled the platform at the IMMAP DigiCon Valley 2022 held virtually.


Sari IQ dashboard provides real-time and historic information on consumer spending and can be configured to develop an analysis for product types sold in small retail formats. It gives retailers and multinational brands complete visibility into sari-sari stores’ operations, allowing them to extend their slow-moving products and services to a wider pool of customers.

Analysis through the platform, which uses data from Packworks’ network of almost 200,000 stores, also helps them come up with data-driven decisions to increase sales of sari-sari store owners by understanding and predicting consumer demand within their area.

“Sari IQ is the trusted, go-to partner for sari-sari stores that empowers businesses to be on top of their brand’s performance and make data-driven decisions every day,” Packworks chief data officer Andres Montiel said.

In its latest study, Sari IQ showed that Filipinos tend to care more about their hygiene than their empty stomach as they prioritize buying self-care products such as hair shampoo and conditioner in sari-sari stores located in areas previously battered by natural calamities — Typhoon “Odette” in December 2021 (Leyte), the Taal volcanic eruption in March 2022 (Batangas/Cavite), and the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in July 2022 (Abra).

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“The data that Sari IQ [produces] can be used as reference in building inference for marketing strategy, demand planning, and product seasonality,” Montiel explained.

–Doris Dumlao-Abadilla
TAGS: Philippine, representative

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