Four PHL firms in Forbes Asia's 100 To Watch list

Published August 10, 2021, 3:49 PM

by James A. Loyola

Four Philippine companies were included in Forbes Asia’s inaugural 100 to Watch list which spotlights notable small companies and startups on the rise across the Asia-Pacific region.

The 100 to Watch list, which can be found at and in the August issue of Forbes Asia, is sponsored by FedEx.


“Companies on the 100 to Watch list are making remarkable progress and impact in spite of the challenging climate brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. Their inclusion on the list comes in part from addressing significant problems with innovative solutions,” said Forbes Asia Editor Justin Doebele.

The 100 to Watch list features a diverse range of companies spanning industries such as biotechnology & healthcare, e-commerce & retail, food & hospitality and education & recruitment.

Across the Asia-Pacific region, 17 countries and territories are represented, with the lively startup communities in India and Singapore producing 22 and 19 companies respectively. Hong Kong has 10 and Indonesia has eight companies on the list.

The Philippine firms in the list are e-commerce and retail firm ChatGenie, food and hospitality company CloudEats, education and recruitment firm Kalibrr, and fintech company PayMongo Philippines.

Founded in 2020, ChatGenie combines online platforms and Grab’s delivery into the Facebook Messenger interface to allow customers to shop by direct message. It was launched before the first pandemic lockdown.

CloudEats was founded in 2019 and, after raising $1.8 million in funding, it now operates 60 retaurant brands out of versatile “cloud kitchens.” It is developing its own brands and tailors recipes and concepts based on customer feed back.

Backed by Omidyar Network, Wavemaker, and Y Combinator, AI-powered recruitment company Kalibrr is the oldest among the Filipino firms as it was founded in 2013. It serves 5 million job seekers in Indonesia and the Philippines and makes the hiring process simpler, faster and better for companies and applicants.

PayMongo is also backed by Y Combinator and has raised $14.7 million in funding. It provides a digital platform for merchants that accepts all types of online payments and serves 7,000 micro, small and midsized companies moving from brick-and mortar stores to e-commerce.

For the selection of the 100 to Watch list, Forbes Asia solicited online submissions, and invited accelerators, incubators, SME advocacy organizations, universities, venture capitalists and others to nominate companies as well. The final 100 was selected from over 900 submissions.

To qualify for consideration, companies had to be headquartered in the Asia-Pacific region, be at least one year old, privately owned, for profit, and have no more than $20 million in its latest annual revenue or total funding through August 1.

Forbes Asia editors evaluated each submission, looking at metrics such as a positive impact on the region or industry, a track record of strong revenue growth or ability to attract funding, promising business models or markets, and a persuasive story.