Megaworld investing P250 M in tech startup

Urban developer Megaworld Corporation investing US$5 million in a newly-established wholly-owned subsidiary that will spearhead its investments and ventures into digital innovations and technology.

In a statement, Megaworld said its new digital investment arm AGILE Digital Ventures will take advantage of opportunities brought about by changes in consumer behaviors and lifestyles in this digital age.

“AGILE will engage in investing and building technology start-ups that hopes to support the country’s food, retail, and hospitality industries during these challenging times,” the firm said.

The company has initially allocated a three-year capital expenditure budget of US$5 million (approximately P250 million) to build its first start-up project for three years.

This first start-up investment is called PICK.A.ROO, an all-in-one, on-demand premium lifestyle delivery app, which is set for public roll-out in August.

Using the app, customers can purchase products ranging from food, gadgets, hardware, kitchenware, children’s toys and stuff, pet care, personal care, medicines, office and school supplies, hotel dishes, liquor, to COVID-19 essentials, from over 300 local and international merchants.

Orders may either be delivered on-demand, or on a later schedule. Customers may choose among regular delivery, drive-through, or takeaway pick-up for their orders.

PICK.A.ROO riders and shoppers undergo strict safety and sanitation protocols which include rapid testing, thermal scanner checks, thorough disinfection of delivery bags, including the provision of clinical-grade face shields and masks.

“Our main goal is to help retailers smoothly migrate to the digital platform especially during this challenging time,” said Megaworld Chief Strategy Officer and AGILE President Kevin L. Tan.

He noted that, “Since 2018, we have been looking for investment opportunities on an app that will enable our retail partners sell and deliver their products online and on-demand. We have talked to several potential partners, but eventually, we decided to build our own.”

Tan, who leads Megaworld’s corporate strategies, has been on the forefront of the company’s digital transformation since 2018.

“We started from scratch to build our first start-up brand. Aside from the technology itself, we put focus on operations which will be integral to the success of every brand that we create,” added Tan.

Aside from PICK.A.ROO, the company is also looking for other investment opportunities in digital technology platforms that will further boost Megaworld’s core businesses.