PLDT Inc. on Monday said its board approved the investment of P2.15 billion in Multisys Technologies Corp. (Multisys) for a 45.73 percent interest in the Philippine software development and IT solutions provider.
The investment, seen completed by December this year, will be done through PLDT’s wholly owned subsidiary, PLDT Global Investments Holdings Inc. (PGIH).
Founded by software programmer-entrepreneur David Almirol Jr., Multisys over the past eight years has developed a number of software platforms that can be used by its pool of programmers to create highly scalable, flexible and customizable software solutions as required by its clients.
These software platforms include those for payment gateways such as Bayad Center, for utilities like power and water, for data center setup and connectivity, for big data handling and analytics and cyber security.
“This investment positions PLDT as a telecoms and digital services provider with core software development capabilities,” said PLDT chairman and CEO Manuel Pangilinan. “With the software savvy of Multisys, PLDT will be able to offer more custommade solutions to its customers and thus deepen its relationships with them.”
The specialized industry solutions of Multisys complement the suite of solutions of PLDT Enterprise and ePLDT and can be further fortified by ePLDT’s managed infrastructure and cyber security solutions. Multisys can also strengthen the ongoing digital initiatives of ePLDT and Voyager Innovations, particularly in the fields of electronic payments and digital financial services.
“Working with Multisys will enable us to step up our efforts to provide compelling digital solutions to address the specific requirements of our Enterprise customers. This will sharpen our competitive advantage and at the same time accelerate our digital transformation,” said Ernesto Alberto, chief revenue officer for the PLDT Group.
Also, the International Finance Corp. (IFC) and the IFC Emerging Asia Fund, a fund managed by IFC Asset Management Co. (AMC), signed an agreement with PLDT Inc. for a subscription to PLDT Voyager Innovation’s newly-issued shares worth $40 million for a minority stake.
The investment is seen to expand financial inclusion in the country and promote the digital economy through the broader use of digital payments.
“Our mission is to accelerate digital and financial inclusion in the Philippines, so all Filipinos can participate in the digital economy. IFC and IFC Emerging Asia Fund’s investment will enable us to scale up our efforts especially in the digital financial services space,” president and chief executive officer of Voyager Innovations Orlando Vea said in a disclosure.
According to the chairman and chief executive officer of PLDT and Smart Communications Manuel Pangilinan, PLDT’s goal through Voyager Innovations also coincides with IFC’s Global Innovative Retail Payment Program which aims to make financial services more accessible and affordable to the world’s low-income population by supporting innovative financial services.
Voyager Innovations focuses on the development of customer-centric emerging market platforms in digital payments and marketing technologies.
Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Inc. and global investment firm KKR have previously invested a combined amount of $175 million in PLDT’s Voyager Innovations, also giving them substantial minority stake.