PLDT creates investment arm to connect with Silicon Valley
MANILA, Philippines – Telecommunications giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) has created a new investment arm that will connect its group of companies with leading Silicon Valley startups.
The new investment arm, called PLDT Capital, is investing up to $50 million this year to support its business units, which include Smart, ePLDT, Digital5, and Voyager. This is part of its digital services portfolio expansion in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and Asia-Pacific, PLDT told the local bourse on September 30.
PLDT Capital will be supported by a team of strategists, engineers, and product managers who will also be identified from the PLDT group.
PLDT Capital has formally started operations in El Segundo, within Los Angeles County, California, and has presence in Silicon Valley.
"The PLDT Group serves more than 70 million mobile and Internet customers in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region," Winston Damarillo, managing director of PLDT Capital, said in a statement. (READ: PH telcos, TV networks ride double-edged digital wave)
"In addition to investments, PLDT Capital aims to become the gateway for the most promising startups to expand their opportunities to the fast growing digital consumers in the ASEAN region,” he added.
The PLDT group has made investments through its corporate development initiative, notably in Rocket Internet, among others. PLDT Capital is specifically created to focus on investments that support the PLDT core businesses.
"PLDT Capital serves as an important pillar to sustain our digital pivot," PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan said.
"To provide the best possible digital experience to our customers, we must collaborate with world-class companies. We look forward to bridging the best of Silicon Valley talent with our own Filipino innovators to expand the opportunities of PLDT,” Pangilinan added. – Rappler.com