Ayala, the Philippines-based conglomerate, is raising money for a new capital fund that will invest in technology companies.
As reported in Deal Street Asia, Ayala Chairman and Chief Executive Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala said the focus will be on companies in eCommerce, FinTech and healthcare. The executive was quoted as saying the company will be "bolder and more deliberate" in its venture capital strategy, supporting businesses with disruptive technology.
According to the report, Zobel de Ayala said during the annual shareholder meeting that the company would invest in startups with "scalable, innovative models." He added that the fund's investments will be aimed at complementing its brick-and-mortar business, ensuring that its existing businesses can evolve and bring more digital products and services to the Philippines. The fund is part of Ayala's strategy to implement digital strategies.
“We recognize that to continue thriving under a rapidly changing environment, we must evolve from traditional analog thinking into incorporating a digital perspective into our strategy and operations,” the CEO said.
Following the stockholder meeting, Deal Street Asia reported that Ayala Chief Finance Officer Jose Teodoro Limcaoco told reporters the $150 million fund will likely be the largest in the country. The aim is to raise the money by the middle of this year, with proceeds being invested over the course of five years.
“We formulated a plan to establish a group-wide corporate venture capital entity where we are trying to raise $150 million of new money from within Ayala Corp. and its business units supported by the CEOs and by the board of the different units,” Limcaoco said.
The fund will be managed by Kickstart Ventures, the venture capital unit of Globe Telcom. Globe Telecom is a joint venture between Ayala and Singapore Telecommunications. Minette Navarrete, Kickstart Ventures’ vice chairman and president, told the news outlet that investments will be in the $2 million to $10 million range.