Investments to Philippine startups reached $547 million as of 2020, including $50 million poured into local startups, according to Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.
In a keynote speech at the virtual Manufacturing Summit 2021, Lopez revealed that $547 million have been invested to Philippine startups as of 2020.
During the pandemic, he said, more than USD$50 million in investments were made to our local startups like Kumu, Paymongo, Plentina, Great Deals Ecommerce, GrowSari, and NextPay, among others.
Lopez said the Philippine startup ecosystem is still young and has very abundant opportunities for investment. It keeps growing though with already over 700 startups, more than 200 co-working spaces, and over 35 incubators and accelerators, and numerous potential investors and venture capitalists nationwide.
“Despite the struggle of traditional businesses, tech startups have continued to emerge and provide solutions and services to the public amidst the pandemic,” he said.
With the enactment of the Innovative Startup Act, which provides benefits and removes constraints to encourage the establishment and operation of innovative new enterprises, Lopez expects to see the accelerated development of new and innovative startups and enterprises that will address future societal problems and challenges of the country.
Furthermore, the country’s National AI Roadmap will position the Philippines as an AI powerhouse. The National Center for AI Research (NCAIR) will be a regional AI center of excellence where local and multinational manufacturing companies and MSMEs, in the Philippines and abroad, can explore various AI R&D projects with the Philippine government, its researchers, and its linkages with universities and research institutes.
Developing of innovative SMES and startups is among the six strategic actions under the DTI’s new industrial policy. The five other strategic actions are — Upskill and Reskill the Workforce; Link our innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem; Ensure Ease of Doing Business; Integrate our Production Systems; and Embrace Industry 4.0.
The DTI has also focused on 15 strategic industries — automotive, chemicals, agribusiness, furniture & garments, creatives, iron & steel and tool & die, electronics and electrical, shipbuilding and ship repair, IT-BPM, e-commerce and the digital economy, climate change and mobility solutions, aerospace and aircraft maintenance, construction, transport & logistics, and tourism.