Ph logistics and eCommerce fertile grounds for funding

The rise of eCommerce and logistics in the Philippines has provided a fertile ground for startup communities to usher in innovations within these sectors. 

The heightened focus of venture capitalists (VCs) and angel investors or funders has fueled a growing interest in recognizing the nurturing of promising products and ventures emerging from logistics and eCommerce.

According to Carlo Chen-Delantar of Pan-Asia VC, a Gobe-Core partner, in the areas of the Business-to-Customer (B2C) market, Filipino startups can develop products that could improve the services offered by logistic companies, riding on to the rapid growth of eCommerce. Despite its potential, only 23 percent of startups are going into the B2C market, Delantar said.

“As our funding landscape matures, we hope to see dramatic improvements in the Pre-Seed to Stage A Startups turnaround times,” said Delantar referring to the growth of startup communities in the Philippines attracting funders.

Delantar who was at the recently held “Geeks on A Beach” held in Panglao Island, Bohol stressed the importance of the Philippines’ startup community to leverage in the booming eCommerce and logistics sector.

He cited that the Philippines has the highest last-mile delivery rates in product deliveries. Notably, promotional campaigns, such as enticing offers for free shipping, have propelled the widespread adoption of eCommerce throughout the country.

Pinoy startups—the new age, a new generation of digital entrepreneurs should take advantage of this development, he reiterated.

During the pandemic over 10,000 micro-small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) transitioned to eCommerce, yet none of them so far became millionaires. Introducing good products to aid the growth of logistics and eCommerce is ripe, he added.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Philippine eCommerce market could hit US$24 billion by 2025. The country is also poised to further eCommerce growth, with a projected annual increase of 15.8 percent in transaction value from 2022-2025.

By 2025, eCommerce transactions are estimated to reach P495.2 billion or US$9.7 billion, a substantial increase from the nearly P270 recorded in 2021.

Based on a report published by Ken Research, the logistics industry contributes 4 to 6 percent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Because of this, the Philippine logistics market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.2 percent from 2022 to 2027, reaching a market size of P1.160 trillion by 2027.

Despite this progress, the sector still faces significant challenges that could impede its continuous growth. According to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the country must improve its infrastructure and technology adoption, especially in rural areas, to remain competitive in the global market. 

Travel | Cebu Pacific Launches Direct Flights to Da Nang, Vietnam

(From L to R) : • Mr. Brian Co – MIAA General Manager;  Usec Roberto Cecilio Lim, Undersecretary for Airports and Aviation, Department of Transportation ; The Honorable Mrs. Nguyen Thu Nga, Third Secretary in charge of Economic Cooperation from VN Embassy; Mr. Alexander Lao, President and Chief Commercial Officer, Cebu Pacific ; and Ms. Candice Iyog, Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer, Cebu Pacific

Cebu Pacific (PSE: CEB), the Philippines’ leading airline, launched its maiden Manila-Da Nang flight today, December 7, 2023, offering a faster and more affordable way for travelers to visit the largest city in central Vietnam.

Starting today, CEB’s Manila-Da Nang flights will operate thrice a week – every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The flight will depart Manila at 7:25 PM (PH time) and arrive at Da Nang at 9:30 PM (Vietnam time). The return flight from Da Nang to Manila will operate from 10:30 PM (Vietnam time) to 2:25 AM (PH time).  

Da Nang is the third destination that Cebu Pacific operates in Vietnam, making it the largest Philippine carrier to operate in one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia. CEB also flies to Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, and Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s economic center.

Previously, passengers from Manila had to book a connecting flight from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, or a nearby country and spend at least ten (10) hours traveling to Da Nang. With CEB’s new non-stop flight, passengers don’t need to pay for an additional stop or wait at another airport during their layover. They can reach Da Nang in three (3) hours and save at least seven (7) hours in travel time compared to flying via other airlines.

“From bringing life and love to the island of Siargao, to transporting Filipino workers to Dubai, Cebu Pacific’s inaugural flights has helped boost tourism in different regions and made it possible for travelers to discover places that used to seem unreachable. Today, Cebu Pacific makes history once again as we make traveling to Da Nang, Vietnam more affordable and accessible for every Juan,” said Xander Lao, Cebu Pacific President and Chief Commercial Officer.   

Da Nang is a popular tourist destination known for its luxurious resorts, architectural designs, and delectable cuisines. It is also the gateway to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Hue Imperial Citadel, My Son Sanctuary, and Hoi An ancient town.  

CEB flies to 35 domestic and 25 international destinations spanning across Asia, Australia, and the Middle East.

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Travel | Cebu Pacific Enhances Baggage Policy

Cebu Pacific (PSE: CEB), the Philippines’ leading airline, is offering every Juan more options to choose from for their check-in baggage as it rolls out its enhanced baggage policy.

Passengers now may avail up to three (3) pieces of baggage and choose from 20kg, 24kg, 28kg, or 32kg variants. Previously, CEB passengers could only purchase up to two (2) pieces of any combination of 20kg or 32kg baggage allowance.

Customers may buy the pre-paid bags as they book their flights and add additional baggage allowance via the Manage Booking portal using their MyCebuPacific accounts.

Customers who opt for a “GO Easy” or “GO Flexi” option only need to select “Upgrade” on the baggage included in their bundle. Meanwhile, customers who choose the “GO Basic” option will first have to select the CEB baggage in the add-ons page after locking in their flight dates.

“Cebu Pacific always strives to be customer centric. We updated our baggage policy so that passengers can have greater control over their baggage allowance at lower rates than current airport charges. This could help our customers lessen their expenses and experience a faster bag drop at the airport,” said Candice Iyog, CEB Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer.

CEB advises its passengers to book their flights online by creating a MyCebuPacific account to get notifications about their upcoming trips, manage their bookings, access their Travel Funds, among other features.

Online check-in is also available via the Cebu Pacific app and website, reducing passenger waiting time at the airport and allowing them to go straight to their assigned boarding gates.

CEB currently flies to 35 domestic and 25 international destinations across Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

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Updating AMLA can boost anti-child exploitation laws, says GCash chief compliance officer

RA 11930, or the ‘Anti-OSAEC (Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children) and Anti-CSAEM (Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Materials) Act’, which was authored by women empowerment advocate Senator Risa Hontiveros, is a legislation that can be further boosted by updating the Anti-Money Laundering Law (AML), which will help combat cyber threats against the youth. This was the central message of GCash chief compliance officer Atty. Cef Sison during a panel discussion comprised of the country’s top industry leaders.

“RA 11930 is a powerful legislation that can fight OSAEC. We are bound by duty under this law to report to the Department of Justice (DOJ) within 24 hours any discovery of OSAEC activities on our platform and to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) within five days. We are also bound by duty to provide financial documents and information upon order of the court when it has been established that there is reasonable ground that the transactions are in violation of RA11930,” said Sison during an anti-OSAEC forum that gathered public and private stakeholders, including Senator Risa Hontiveros.

On the more technical side, Sison said that GCash is currently exploring generative artificial intelligence to chase after perpetrators. Sison established that the traditional AML parameters are no longer sufficient to keep up with the speed and volume of online transactions. Furthermore, she said perpetrators are becoming more creative and could already be using generative AI for their malicious activities.

“We need to process individuals with generative AI to keep up with the fast pace of new users and transactions,” explained Sison.

Sison also mentioned that perpetrators are abusing their rights to data privacy, but the principles of law negate this right if the safety of innocent people is threatened.

“GCash is one with the nation in ensuring the safety and security of everyone in our quest for financial inclusion,” concluded Sison.

Earlier this November, GCash joined Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte and Senator Risa Hontiveros at the Anti-Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children Conference (Anti-OSAEC Conference) held at the Novotel in Quezon City in celebration of National Children’s Month. The conference was organized by the Municipal Government of Quezon City, the Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Sexual Abuse (CPTCSA), the Philippine Children’s Ministries Network (PCMN), and the Mission Alliance (MA) with the support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila and Plan International Philippines. Other industry players in the panel included Globe Telecom and PLDT.

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Accelerating Innovation: Government and stakeholders Unite to Supercharge the Ph Startup Ecosystem

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DITC) has inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with DFNN Group of Companies, and Plug and Play Tech Center, to harness the power of startups in the Philippines.

The MOU was signed by DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy, Jojo Flores of Plug and Play Tech Center, and Ricky Banaag of DFNN Group of Companies during the recently concluded 6th Geeks On A Beach held at Panglao Island, Bohol.

“This initiative powered by Plug & Play sets out to come up with forward-looking strategies to harness the power of startups, injecting new ideas and creativity into the startup industry as well as prompt the growth of an intellectually-based economy,” said Flores.

According to Flores, the MOU is seen to accelerate the growth of the startup community in the Philippines, taking a bigger chunk of the US$3.5 billion tech/startup industry.

“We need to protect our interests where we build the products of technology and artificial intelligence (AI) by bringing everyone to build these new tech industries to protect our local industries as well, in terms of the tech/BPO industry, electronics assembly, and the like,” Flores added.

The MOU which signifies the strong collaboration of various public and private sector initiatives, is aimed at supporting the startup industry, thereby fueling the nation’s employment, bolstering foreign exchange reserves, and technological innovation that can push forward the overall economic expansion of the Philippines.

According to the MOU, stakeholders together with the government shall establish the Horizon Philippines program to catalyze the creation of new intellectual property assets that will contribute to the growth of an IP-based economy.

This approach will not only help diversify the economic landscape but will also position the country to thrive in an increasingly knowledge-driven and competitive global economy, the agreement reads.

He further said that by creating and building local tech products, the country can also use the same products to resell to other countries. The whole idea is to leverage the service industry and create and sell these to the world market.

At present, about 100 startups are making new products for the Information, Communication Technology (ICT) industry.

“Money and funds are in the private sector. Startup support funds from the private sector over the last three years raised a billion dollars from global investors and 90 percent of that is Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs). Let’s help shape our nation’s startup growth and development,” Flores noted.

Plug and Play Tech Center provides venture capital investment services. The company specializes in technological venture capital advancement by connecting blue chip corporations in industry trends as well as provide consulting services.

DFNN, Inc. is a Philippines-based information technology (IT) solutions provider and systems integrator. The Company is engaged in the provision of information technology services to financial institutions and gaming companies. It develops, operates, and maintains Web-based and wireless applications for major corporate customers with strength in solutions for financial institutions and gaming companies and provides proprietary order routing software technology and Web-advertising services to stock brokerage firms. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, the Company also possesses licenses for electronic gaming machines (EGMs), a sports betting exchange, and digital and pari-mutuel games with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).###