Local startups seek P5.5M equity capital

Although Open Finance is a relatively new concept in the Philippines, the participating teams have already proposed novel use cases for their respective industries.

Representing seven different sectors and 4 Southeast Asian countries, these are the 11 startups participating in the Philippines’ first Open Finance accelerator program launched by Brankas and Kaya Founders. | Photograph courtesy of brankas


September 3, 2022

At least 11 homegrown technology startups are vying for funding in the inaugural Open PHinance Challenge, an 8-week accelerator program to generate innovative, high-value open finance products to solve their target customers or operational needs creatively. The grand winner stands to receive P5.5 million in equity capital.

The Open PHinance Challenge is a collaboration between Brankas, an open finance technology company in Southeast Asia, and Kaya Founders, an early-stage investment firm that backs visionary entrepreneurs in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

Todd Schweitzer, founder and CEO of Brankas, said, “We want to cultivate the next generation of startups so that they can launch their businesses enabled by open finance technology and global best practices. More and more financial institutions are seeing a business value in partnering with startups where they can distribute, monetize, and data sharing on behalf of the FIs. This is what we hope to enable with the Open PHinance Challenge, and we hope that it benefits the users of the participants as well.”

Initially, 30 teams and startups applied for the challenge, but only 11 were selected for their problem identification, product relevance, innovativeness, and team dynamism. Although Open Finance is a relatively new concept in the Philippines, the participating teams have already proposed novel use cases for their respective industries.

Representing seven different sectors and four Southeast Asian countries, these are the 11 teams that bring to the table a wide range of industry expertise and startup experience.

AltSwitch is a blockchain-based company building products for the ecosystem of decentralized apps and services. They aim to develop a state-of-the-art hardware and software wallet, to provide digital asset security to the growing class of more than 300 million wallet users.

Betterteem is a cloud-based human resources integration app that uses Artificial Intelligence to enable businesses to predict employee churn, provide on-demand mental health support, and create a digital employee community platform to influence employee experience positively.

Cropital is an agriculture crowdfunding platform providing farmers access to scalable and sustainable financing. Having successfully raised P100 million to support farmers across ten provinces, they are now intent on building a credit scoring and reporting service for rural banks to manage risks in extending loans to small farmers.

Datacultr Fintech Limited is a digital debt collection and risk management startup that digitalizes collection processes, automates customer engagement and provides lifecycle management. Having raised a $1M seed round in early 2022, they are looking to disrupt the lending segment in the Philippines by unlocking credit access for the 67 million unbanked and under-banked population.

Dyippay is a Fintech startup servicing the public utility vehicle sector. They are building an automated fare collection system via a mobile app for cashless and cardless transactions. Ultimately, they aim to reduce the costs borne by transport cooperatives and eventually expand into a suite of services that harmonizes public transportation in the Philippines.

KoleK is an enterprise SaaS that orchestrates companies’ receivables processes by providing a complete solution that tracks receivables, increases payment conversion rate, and provides data for better financial decisions. Their software is a bank-agnostic solution that leverages open banking infrastructure for finance teams to have flexibility in products for their operations.

Mochi is a B2B BNPL startup that aims to help MSME merchants purchase supplies without worrying about cash on hand. They do this by working with platforms, funders, and other technology solution providers who share their mission of building a more inclusive and integrated B2B e-commerce market in Asia.

Rambooor is a Web3 startup that aims to make decentralized finance accessible, safe, and profitable for ordinary users via a secure non-custodial wallet. By making it a seamless process, their solution intends to enable end users to derive passive income from Defi activities such as staking and liquidity farming.

Sonicboom Solutions is a Fintech company based in Malaysia that focuses on making payment efficient for building owners and drivers in the mobility and parking industry. During the Challenge, they will develop an all-in-one payment reading solution and license plate recognition technology.

Spiro Carbon Group enables smallholder farms to transition to climate-friendly farming methods, generating and selling high-quality, transparent, and socially conscious carbon offsets to SMEs globally. Their solution aims to create an open, secondary source of income for small farmers and open a pathway to net zero for business via a broad grassroots network.

Taikee is a personal finance platform that uses AI to create a unique financial management plan and set it up for its users. By analyzing a user’s demographics, goals, and spending habits through transactional data, Taikee aims to create a personalized experience for Filipinos to get started with managing and handling their finances.

For eight weeks, the participating teams will undergo intensive mentoring centered around product creativity, business development, user validation, regulatory compliance, pitching, and fundraising. Under the guidance of subject matter experts, the participating teams will develop a unique product and pitch it during a culminating demonstration day.

They will be judged by a panel of investors, leading startup founders, and Open Finance experts on various metrics, including product and business viability, investability, and pitch quality.

The top three participants would advance to connect and network with potential global investors and stakeholders when they present their solutions at the Singapore FinTech Festival from 2 to 4 November 2022.

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