Friday, November 24, 2023

Globe Group Moves to Replicate Fintech Success, Solving PH Biggest Problems With Digital Technology

Leading digital solutions platform Globe Group is out to repeat the success of its fintech arm GCash, currently the No. 1 finance super app in the country and the only double unicorn. 

Ernest Cu, President and CEO of the Globe Group, said the company’s pivot into a full-fledged techco aims to provide disruptive solutions to problems that Filipinos confront day-to-day.

Speaking about the rise of GCash, Cu said: “We want to repeat that again. We look at areas where there’s a large problem to solve. It’s gotta be large because it’s got to move our needle, right?”

“So we look at a lot of nascent areas where problems continue to be pervasive and no one’s paying attention, no one’s taking the advantage of building something. If it fits the assets we have, this gives us what we call unfair advantage, then we go into it,” said Cu on NASDAQ’s Trade Talks with Jill Malandrino on the sidelines of the 2023 Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF).

Cu also spoke of the Globe Group’s ethos in a panel discussion on raising unicorns at SFF, sharing his vision of making the company responsive to the country’s problems.


In its beginnings as a core telco business, Globe solved Filipinos’ communication problems. With its solid connectivity infrastructure as foundation–  its “unfair advantage”– the Globe Group has been casting a wider and wider net. 


Today, beyond fintech, the Globe Group provides digital solutions in the areas of healthtech, adtech, edutech, climate tech, shared services, investments and entertainment.


It’s all about being responsive to customers’ evolving needs, much like how Cu practices to be responsive real-time to every message that comes his way.


“My responsiveness is almost real time. If I respond almost 24/7, there’s no reason you shouldn’t respond to me. In a way that reflects how your responsiveness is to customers right?” he said.


"At the end of the day, the Globe Group is a consumer service company. We are here to serve our consumers, whether it’s telecommunications, whether it’s healthcare, or whether it’s fintech. We want to instill that notion of responsiveness among our people, and I guess for me it starts at the top,” he added.


To learn more about Globe, visit

PLDT Group’s TINBO brings Christmas joy to overseas Pinoys

Christmas season is not only the longest but also the most cherished holiday among Filipinos anywhere in the world. Recognizing its importance, PLDT Global Corporation (PLDT Global) is intensifying its initiative this year to make this season even more special for global Pinoys through TINBO (Tindahan ni Bossing). 

Powered by PLDT Global, TINBO is the one-stop marketplace that enables Filipinos around the world to buy load, send food gift vouchers, healthcare PINs from mWell and even gaming PINs for their families in the Philippines. They can also acquire a Smart virtual number (SVN) through TINBO, enabling them to receive OTPs from their e-wallets and e-banks in the Philippines like Maya. TINBO also provides access to a convenient and secure online bills payment from abroad to their Philippine utilities, send e-gifts, medicines, and other digital services while outside the Philippines.

“We delight our fellow Filipinos around the world in a unique way: by offering them exciting rewards and opportunities to win prizes. These gifts are not just tokens of appreciation; they are practical aids for their families back home, opening doors to livelihood opportunities or bringing joy through thoughtful presents.” said Albert V. Villa-Real, PLDT Global President and CEO.

With this in mind, PLDT Global is launching its Register and Load to Win Promo in time for the holidays. To join, overseas Filipinos must register at TINBO ( to get one raffle entry. They can get additional entries for every P100 Smart Prepaid, Talk N Text, and Smart Bro load transaction on TINBO. The more load transactions, the more chances of winning. For the complete mechanics, interested customers can visit


A lucky customer can take home a brand-new motorcycle for the grand prize. Also, up for grabs are brand-new mobile phones, P20,000 worth of grocery e-vouchers, and chest freezer for business or personal use. The raffle of winners will be on January 18, 2024, and the list of winners will be posted on the TINBO website and official social media accounts on January 29.


Aside from the Register and Load to Win Promo, registered TINBO users can also avail themselves of ongoing promos on the platform. Overseas Filipinos can get 50% off their transaction fee when they pay Philippine bills via TINBO until December 31, 2023. They can also purchase Smart Magic Data +149 (with no expiry date) on TINBO for their loved ones back home, and their recipients in the Philippines will get a bonus All Out Surf P20 load valid for one day.


“We understand the plight of overseas Filipinos, and we know that for them, every peso counts. These promos that feature our value-for-money data and mobile packages can help the OFWs and their families stay connected, especially during the holidays,” added Villa-Real.


TINBO is another innovation that contributes to the overall PLDT Group commitment to create digital solutions and collaborate with partners, and to enhance customer experience wherever they are in the world.

DICT Says PH Startups Ecosystem Is Vibrantly Growing

PANGLAO, Cebu— Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) secretary Ivan John Uy opened the two-day Geeks On A Beach (GOAB)2023 international conference, Thursday, November 23-24 confidently stating that the vibrant startup ecosystem in the Philippines has been promisingly growing, with more than 1,100 startups, 60 incubators and accelerators, 50 venture capitalists, and more than 200 co-working spaces nationwide that enable collaboration.

“It is truly an honor to stand before you as we kick off the sixth edition of Geeks on a Beach. As we gather here, it is heartening to see that through our joint efforts, we have transformed the Philippines into a pivotal regional hub for startups and digital innovation. This is a statement of fact. Our vibrant startup ecosystem has been promisingly growing,” Secretary Yu said.

Yu added that the essence of Geeks on a Beach lies in the convergence of diverse minds and he is optimistic that this year's event sees a limitless potential and a perfect backdrop for groundbreaking ideas to take flight.


Geeks On A Beach 2023 in Panglao is attended by nearly 1000 guests, technopreneurs, investors, startup hustlers, venture capitalists, angel investors, and others after a hiatus of five years.


Secretary Uy further said, the DICT commits to accelerate digital transformation and nurture the growth of the country's startup community by launching programs aligned with the Innovative Startup Act of 2019. 


“This law provides the blueprint for the advancement of the Philippine Startup Ecosystem and supports our startups by providing funding and mentorship mechanisms and streamlined processes,” Uy noted. 


The conduct of the GOAB in time for this year's Philippine Startup Week shows the limitless potential inherent in Filipino technopreneurs.  “Investing in Filipino Homegrown Heroes as Global Game Changers," encapsulates our unwavering dedication to providing the necessary support for our local Startups to thrive,” Secretary Uy concluded. 


Founder’s panel discussion insights


Right after the DICT secretary’s keynote was a panel discussion with some of the startup founders in the country namely; Roland Ros, CEO and Founder of Kumu; ER Rollan, CEO and Founder of GrowSari and Steve Sy, Founder of Great Deals Ecommerce.


These three founders were one in saying that the biggest challenge in the startup industry is understanding the whys and the type of mindset to have in starting a company and building a startup.

Roland Ros said, sacrificing everything for the motherland is worth it in making a difference to operate in the environment of efficiently growing into a unicorn and becoming a sustainable business.

ER Rollan noted that understanding the whys and how mindset in establishing a company, and be prepared to be at the last benefactor of your endeavor. “That is the toughest part of a startup. The next unicorns of startups will come from the Philippines,” he added.

Steve Sy of Great Deals E-Commerce said that for every challenge there is an opportunity and this gives people values. e-commerce is fast paced; the challenge is to adopt to the growing e-commerce technology.

“As an entrepreneur, you don’t get much sleep but getting up and thinking in upscaling, growing your revenue with minimal expenses.  The key to startups is an efficient scale/upscaling for all founders,” he said.


These three are all homegrown prominent startups in the country that still faced so much challenges in efficiently managing their startup business, but with the Philippines coming up as an emerging and the fastest growing economy in Asia, they see that 2024 is the base for the startup ecosystem in PH to grow.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

QBO Innovation Hub Honors Philippines’ Top 100 Startups at Philippine Startup Week 2023

Metro Manila, Philippines, 23 November 2023 QBO Innovation Hub, the Philippines’ first public-private initiative geared towards providing a platform for the startup community to collaborate, develop, and grow, unveils this year’s top 100 most promising startups in the country at the Philippine Startup Week 2023 (PHSW23).

The Top 100 Startups SHOWCASE by QBO presents a diverse group of 100 startups from a wide array of industries across the Philippines, highlighting the vibrant and innovative spirit of the nation's startup ecosystem. The industries represented include agriculture (1); artificial intelligence (7); automotive (1); blockchain and cryptocurrency (1); climate and sustainability (1); construction technology and real estate (1); creator economy (1); education technology (1); energy (1); enterprise solutions (8); entertainment, gaming, and e-sports (5); finance and financial technology (13); food and hospitality (5); healthcare and fitness (9); human resources and people (4); Internet of Things (1); logistics and supply chain (3); retail and e-commerce (17); social commerce (1); SaaS (1); transport and shared mobility (1); and travel and tourism (2). This year's list of startups includes Bossjob, Packworks, Britana, Dehusk, Hey Roomie, Mylo Speech Buddy, and Prosperna.

This year’s list was officially unveiled at the inaugural Sinigang Valley Conference organized by QBO, alongside AHG Lab, Foxmont Capital, Kaya Founders, Uniquecorn Strategies, and founding members of the country’s premier private-sector-led startup organization Sinigang Valley Association (SVA), on November 21, 2023, at the Blue Leaf Pavilion, Taguig City. The announcement is one of the main highlights of the Philippine Startup Week. It served as the ultimate showcase of Filipino startups disrupting industries, shaping the future of technology, and paving the way toward bringing Filipino innovation to greater heights.

"The annual Top 100 Startups SHOWQASE by QBO reflects the remarkable strength and diversity of the Philippines' startup ecosystem. We are proud to showcase these innovative startups that are addressing societal challenges with their unique solutions. By featuring them in this list, our goal is to broaden their reach and catalyze further opportunities for innovation and growth in their respective fields," said Katrina Rausa Chan, Executive Director of QBO Innovation Hub.

Founded in 2016, QBO Innovation Hub, the programmatic arm of IdeaSpace Foundation, was established through a partnership with IdeaSpace, J.P. Morgan, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). With a vision to cultivate a competitive ecosystem in the Philippines, driven by the transformative potential of Filipino startups on the global stage, QBO has been an active player in developing the Philippines as a startup powerhouse in the region.

With the theme, “Investing in Filipino Homegrown Heroes as Global Game Changers,” the Philippine Startup Week 2023 is back on its fifth iteration from November 20-24, 2023, showcasing a series of programs happening in person at multiple venues nationwide, bringing together the local startup community to discuss key issues among startup founders, investors, corporates, academia, and government agencies. Some of the discussion topics will include Filipino startups' investment landscape, the role of women-led businesses in the current funding climate, the use of AI and other emerging technologies, and regional and international expansion opportunities for Filipino entrepreneurs.

In addition to the SHOWQASE, PHSW23 also features over 50 community events spearheaded by various partners from all over the Philippines—Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. The events showcase the collaborative spirit and diversity of the Filipino startup ecosystem, enabling attendees to learn, interact, network, and collaborate through five tracks: Discover, Develop, Collaborate, Invest, and Showcase. Apart from this, the PHSW23 celebration continues with Night Fests, which are after-hours networking sessions also slated to return this year for the startup community. The 5-day conference is expected to draw over 3,000 in-person attendees nationwide, 150+ speakers, and 100+ startups.

Since its inception in 2019, PHSW continues to be the biggest startup conference in the country and has drawn over 10,000+ registrants from different parts of the world, showcased 260+ Filipino startups, and hosted community events with over 50 partners conducted nationwide.
Philippine Startup Week 2023 is organized by DOST, DTI, DICT, with support from QBO Innovation Hub and Sinigang Valley Association, as well as the conference partners, Bossjob, Multisys, PLDT Enterprise, ePLDT, 917Ventures, A2D Ventures, AWS, PwC Philippines, and Shell LiveWIRE, along with Uniquecorn Strategies as its Official PR Partner.

For a detailed view of the Filipino startups featured in this year's Top 100 Startups SHOWQASE by QBO and to access the full PHSW23 event brochure, please visit

PLDT boosts vision for a Digital Philippines during PH Digicon 2023: VISION

Leading integrated telco network PLDT Inc. (PLDT), through its corporate business arm PLDT Enterprise, is reinforcing its support for the country's digitalization aspirations as the Hyperscaler Hub of Asia-Pacific at the recent Philippine Digital Convention 2023 (PH Digicon 2023), hailing partnerships and synergy among various sectors as the core of this vision. 

“In this era of awe-inspiring technologies, the Philippines stands resolute in its ambition to become the hyperscaler hub of Asia-Pacific,” said Mitch L. Locsin, First Vice President and Head of Enterprise and International Business Groups of PLDT and Smart, at the opening of the recently concluded PH Digicon 2023.

“As we gather here, we embark on this collective journey, which acknowledges the boundless potential of collaboration between entrepreneurial zeal, the daring of start-ups and the guiding influence of education,” Locsin added, hailing the collaboration with IdeaSpace, Go Negosyo, PLDT-Smart Foundation, PLDT Sustainability Office, PLDT and Smart Stakeholder Management Team, and PLDT People Group for the event's programs for students, start-ups, and entrepreneurs.

“Together, this synergy of small businesses, start-ups, and education, creates an ecosystem of resilience, transformation, and perpetual renewal. It is a trinity that exemplifies the journey from idea to impact, from learning to innovation, from aspiration to achievement,” Locsin said.

Secretary Ivan John Uy of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) also set forth the government's vision of a Digital Philippines that is anchored on digital inclusion and citizen-centric innovation.


“Crucial in our journey to becoming a competitive digital economy is ensuring that no Filipino is left behind,” Uy said, adding that the DICT has been working toward reducing the digital divide by expanding connectivity across the archipelago.


Uy also cited the launch of the eGovPH Super App, a one-stop platform that allows Filipinos to access vital national and local services, as an example of how the government puts a premium on citizen-centric innovation, making public service more accessible to the public with technology.


Emmanuel C. Lorenzana, Chief Transformation and Customer Officer at PLDT, also shared the PLDT Group's visionary path before thousands of PH Digicon 2023 delegates, ahead of the company's 95th anniversary in November.


“We stand on a well-defined roadmap for our future forged on both trials and invaluable lessons,” Lorenzana said, citing that the Group's vision will involve personalized customer experiences guided by insights gained from listening to customers.


“Armed with new tools, we push to enhance our operational efficiencies and harness our existing assets to ensure the highest level of quality for our customers, who will always be the North Star of everything that we do,” Lorenzana added.


Another highlight of the plenary is the launch of ePLDT Pilipinas Cloud (ePPC). ePLDT, the ICT subsidiary of PLDT, becomes the first Filipino corporation to offer a sovereign cloud, which will host highly sensitive government data and applications in a trusted cloud environment to help fast-track the digital transformation of the country’s public sector.


“With ePLDT’s technical expertise and experience in delivering multi-cloud and data center solutions, backed up by our unique understanding of the Philippine government’s requirements, we are confident we can ensure the seamless deployment and management of the country’s first sovereign cloud aligned with global standards,” said ePLDT President and CEO Victor S. Genuino.


PLDT Chief Technology Officer Jojo G. Gendrano, meanwhile, also helmed a panel discussion on “Enabling the Vision for Industries” with Ragu Masilamany, General Manager and Head of Solution Engineering at Amdocs; Anup Changaroth, Chief Technology Officer Service Provider at Cisco (APAC); Brandon Wu, Vice President and CTO Enterprise Business Group, Asia Pacific at Huawei; and Raghav Sahgal, President of Cloud and Network Services at Nokia.


During the panel discussion at PH Digicon 2023, Gendrano said, “An execution of how the country can better pivot as a digital nation at warp speed, PLDT-Smart's vision, and the focus of this afternoon's panel, is in gearing up on how to take action. We say that technology is nothing without persons of vision. We have leaders here that in so many ways power communications in the Philippines.”


Thousands of delegates trooped to the two-day PH Digicon 2023, an annual digital convention where global industry mavens, thought leaders, and pioneers in technology come together.


PH Digicon 2023's theme was "VISION: Reimagine Tomorrow’s Enterprise," reflecting the goal to empower tomorrow’s tech titans and enterprises. In addition to tech forums led by industry experts, the event also showcased innovative solutions and cutting-edge technologies focusing on areas like IoT, AI, 5G, and automation, as well as mentoring sessions for SMEs.


Delegates were also able to participate in immersive experiences at the Digi Grounds, which featured activations from PLDT Home, Smart, Maya, mWell, and Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), and Keystone Sponsors Amdocs, Cisco, Huawei Technologies Phils. Inc., Nokia.


PH Digicon 2023: VISION is powered by Amdocs, Cisco, Huawei Technologies Phils. Inc., Nokia, Google Cloud, Samsung, ZTE Corporation, Avolution Inc., Fortinet, Soprano Design, CSG, Dell Technologies Philippines, Ericsson Telecommunications, Inc., and Maya Philippines, Inc.