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Startups

Philippine fintech Mynt hits $2bn valuation after fundraising

$300m funding round is company's largest ever, underscores its unicorn status

Mynt owns GCash mobile wallet, a widely used app for merchant payments and money transfers in the Philippines. (File photo by AP)

MANILA -- Mynt, the Philippine fintech backed by Ant Group, on Tuesday said it had raised over $300 million from new and existing investors in its largest-ever fundraising, valuing the company at over $2 billion.

New investors U.S. fund Warburg Pincus and venture capital firm Insight Partners led the third funding round for Mynt, which owns the hugely popular GCash mobile wallet. The move underscores the company's position as the Philippines' lone unicorn, defined as a tech startup valued at $1 billion or more.

Tech investor Itai Tsiddon and U.S. VC Amplo Ventures were other new investors, while existing shareholders Globe Telecom, conglomerate Ayala and Bow Wave Capital Management, which is mandated to invest in payment companies backed by Alibaba Group, also contributed capital, according to a statement. Ant, which owned 40% of Mynt before this round, did not participate.

Following the latest round, Globe and Ant's stake in Mynt will be diluted to 35% each, while Bow Wave and Ayala will have 14% and 5%, respectively. The new investors will collectively hold 11%, Globe Senior Vice President Yolanda Crisanto told Nikkei Asia.

The fundraising comes as Mynt's GCash, a widely used mobile app for merchant payments and money transfers, makes inroads into financial services such as credit and insurance. The company plans to launch "buy now, pay later" products within the year.

GCash currently has 48 million users -- nearly half the country's population -- up from 33 million last year, and is on track to triple transaction volume to 3 trillion pesos ($60 billion) this year. At its peak, the number of daily active transactions reaches 12 million, while 3 million merchants use the app, Mynt said.

GCash's growth has been underpinned by migration to mobile payments in the face of prolonged coronavirus lockdowns. The share of digital payments volume in the Philippines doubled to around 20% last year from 2018, according to the country's central bank.

The latest funding round raises the profile of Mynt and could help shift the spotlight to the Philippines as a possible destination for such financing in Southeast Asia, a region home to unicorns such as Grab and Gojek.

Mynt CEO Martha Sazon said the new investors bring "strategic value" to the company, which is improving profitability.

"Together with the continued support of Mynt's existing shareholders, we are confident of furthering Mynt's market leadership and creating positive and transformative disruption in the Philippine financial services sector," said Mynt chair and Globe CEO Ernest Cu.

Saurabh Agarwal, managing director of Warburg Pincus, said: "The investment into Mynt marks our continued commitment and strong belief in the long-term prospects of the Philippines as one of the fastest growing digital economies in the region."

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