5 of the Best Startup Companies to Apply to Right Now
While not quite Silicon Valley yet, the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia already host some of the world’s best startups.
Following the well-documented successes of now-household names like Facebook, Udemy, and Grab, new startups continue to emerge, with founders and investors hoping to capture the same magic that companies like the aforementioned have had.
The Philippines has not been an exception to this. Its huge consumer base and growing internet penetration, combined with the country’s large, English-speaking population that has extensive technical, marketing, and back-office support skills, make it an ideal location for both local and internationally-based startups to develop their business models.
As part of that skilled-population, you also stand to benefit from working for a startup, particularly the successful ones that often scale quickly, because as the company grows, so does your career.
Now while their popularity has seemingly made them a dime a dozen, the following start-ups are some which you can look to when you want to apply to one, or if you happen to be establishing your own.
A financial services platform founded in 2014 by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Ron Hose and Runar Petursson, Metro Manila-based Coins.ph has the distinction of being one of the first cryptocurrency companies in the world to be duly authorized by a state monetary body in the country it is in (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas).
Coin.ph has one of the Philippines’s largest cash distribution networks, operating through over 33,000 partner locations, and provides it customers a mobile wallet and services such as remittances, mobile air-time, bill payments, and online shopping. In January 2019, Gojek, Indonesia’s largest on-demand multi-service platform, made a substantial acquisition of Coins.ph’s shares to support the latter’s rapid growth.
A Singapore-based technology company that initially specialized ride-hailing and ride-sharing services, Grab has expanded to also offer food delivery and logistics services to markets in its home country as well as the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
During its initial operations, Grab’s main competition in Southeast Asia was San Francisco-based Uber, whose regional operations had been acquired by Grab in March of 2018. Since becoming the only major ride-sharing service in Southeast Asia, Grab has also earned the distinction of being its first startup with a valuation of over US$10 billion, otherwise identified in startup circles as a “decacorn”.
Another company based out of Singapore, Lazada was launched in 2012 with the intent of becoming the Amazon.com of Southeast Asia. In the same year, it launched operations in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, before launching in Singapore itself. Based on monthly website visits, Lazada is largest e-commerce operator in four of those countries to date.
The company started out by selling inventory to customers from its own warehouses, but by 2013 added a marketplace model that allowed third-party retailers to sell their products on their website. Alibaba, a Chinese multinational conglomerate, bought $1 billion worth of shares in 2016, and another $1 billion worth in Lazada, for a controlling stake in the latter.
A Fintech startup owned by Globe Telecom, Ant Financial, and the Ayala Corporation, Mynt was established to bring forth financial inclusion by providing hassle-free loans to every Filipino via its lending arm, Fuse, which primarily caters to the underserved and unbanked population in the Philippines.
Its products include GCredit and GScore. The former is a credit line attached to GCash, the mobile money service of Mynt. The funds from this are what customers can use to buy groceries, medicine, or other supplies at GCash partner merchants. The first trust score in the Philippines, GCredit, on the other hand, is the application where the financial capacity of an individual to pay back credit is checked based on their GCash usage.
Established in 2006, OLX began as a startup intended to serve as the Craigslist to countries outside of the United States. Similar to the latter, OLX is a platform used for buying and selling goods and services such as electronics, fashion items, furniture, cars and bikes, and even real estate.
In 2010, a majority stake in OLX was acquired by the South African media group Naspers, followed by mergers with similar platforms in other countries. Among these were the Philippines, where classified ads site Sulit rebranded as OLX in 2014. Sulit competitor Ayos Dito also merged with OLX a year later, with its users being redirected to OLX in 2015. The company has since had operations in the country.
As new products are conceptualized and executed, we can expect more startups to emerge in the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia, with some possibly matching or surpassing the success of the previously mentioned companies. Do you feel like we missed including a startup here? Contact us to let us know!
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