Expert sees tech start-ups flourishing in PHL

WITH established companies in the Philippines buying an increasing number of promising business start-ups, a business expert believes the Philippine start-up ecosystem is an exceedingly promising one.

“I’ve seen the rate of acquisitions really accelerating. I think that brings a lot of promise to the Philippines,” business researcher and writer Ezra Ferraz said in a QLITAN forum held on June 20 at the Department of Trade and Industry’s International Building in Makati City.

While the country has already gone through acquisitions since 1999, it experienced a breakthrough last year when SMS-based personal-assistance service company HeyKuya was sold just six months after its launch, making it the fastest acquisition in the Philippines.

In between those years, many start-ups that were bought were mostly software and tech-based, Ferraz said.

Because they are “tailored to the emerging market in the Philippines”, tech start-ups easily become successful.

“It encourages more people to invest again in the Philippine business-tech ecosystem,” he said.

Ferraz told the BusinessMirror the importance of learning from local businesses on how to succeed in the Philippine context.

“Of course, we could learn things from people who built businesses in other countries, but we should always focus on people who’ve built and scaled business on a local context, different culturally, sociologically,” he said.

Having a unicorn, a tech company with over a billion dollars on market, would also benefit the start-up ecosystem.

“I think it will result in a lot of sustainable, bring profitable, bring innovative start-ups,” he noted.

Despite the increasing trend in business acquisition, however, start-ups face difficulties similar to problems encountered by ordinary people in the country, he said.

“Traffic, sometimes the Internet can be an issue. Sometimes, people may not be as open to new solutions, but we’re getting more, increasing our rate of adaption,” Ferraz added.

Also present in the forum were Machine Ventures CEO and Founder of HeyKuya Shahab Shabibi and Satoshi Citadel Industries CEO John Bailon.

The two talked about their experiences in business acquisition to help aspiring start-up CEOs in their way to exiting the business.

QLITAN is series of talks arranged by QBO Philippines to help startup founders and explorers navigate their businesses in the local context.




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