Manila startup ecosystem value surges to $6.4 B

Manila’s startup ecosystem posted a dramatic 72 percent compound annual growth rate valued at $6.4 billion, according to the 2024 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) by Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network.

The GSER launch at London Tech Week reported that Manila’s startup ecosystem continued to flourish reaching $6.4 billion from July 1, 2021 to 31 December 2023. The surge was attributed to the economic impact of exits and startup valuations.

Based on the report, the Philippines is now in the 81-90 bracket among startup ecosystems from 91-100 bracket in 2023. The GSER 2024 report highlighted the dynamic expansion of Manila's fintech, e-commerce, and gaming industries. This was driven by a rich pool of talent, an active startup scene, and strong partnerships between government agencies and private entities.

Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual expressed his pride and excitement about the sustained growth of the Manila ecosystem as recognized in the 2024 Global Startup Ecosystem Report.

“The remarkable 72 percent surge in ecosystem value is a direct result of the collective efforts of the startup ecosystem that fosters innovation, talent development, and entrepreneurial spirit,” the trade chief said.

“As we continue to advance in the rapidly evolving world of technology and innovation, we remain steadfast in providing the support and infrastructure needed for our startups to thrive. Our clear goal is to empower them to become significant players in the global market. This achievement attests to Manila's economic potential and positions the Philippines as an emerging hub of technological advancement and entrepreneurial success,” he added.

DTI Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba pointed out that the Philippines is investing in its startup ecosystem to create a prosperous and sustainable future while enhancing global competitiveness.

“With a serious commitment to positioning the Philippines as a premier innovation hub, driving significant global impact, we are dedicated to amplifying support for startups. This entails enhancing funding accessibility, nurturing talent, and cultivating international collaborations. This recognition signifies a promising new chapter for our startup community, affirming our ongoing dedication to innovation and growth,” said Aldaba.

The DTI said it has teamed up with its local partner enablers and Startup Genome to showcase Manila’s entrepreneurial ecosystem at the #GSER2024, including the Top 30 Global Ecosystem and Top 15 Asia Ecosystem in Affordable Talent, which measures the ability to hire tech talent.          

In addition, the DTI said it also partnered with Top 40 Global Ecosystem and Top 15 Ecosystem in Bang for Buck which measures the amount of runway tech startups acquire, on average, from a VC round.

Other enablers include Top 20 Asia Ecosystem in Funding to measure innovation through early-stage funding and investor’s activity; Top 30 Asia Ecosystem in Performance which measures the size and performance of an ecosystem based on the accumulated tech startup value created from exits and funding; and Top 30 Asia Ecosystem in Talent & Experience which measures long-term trends over the most.

The DTI said it is also working closely with partner agencies such as the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, and the National Economic and Development Authority.

 Through these collaborations, the government has established several policy reforms, including the Innovative Startup Act, the Philippine Innovation Act, the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act, and the recently passed Tatak Pinoy Act. The reforms were aimed at advancing the local startup ecosystem from a regional tech hub to a recognized global player in the digital economy.

“With the constant support of the Department of Trade and Industry, Manila's startup ecosystem value grew 72 percent, building special strengths in the fintech, e-commerce, and gaming subsectors," said Startup Genome Founder and CEO JF Gauthier.

The GSER analyzes data from over 4.5 million companies across over 300 entrepreneurial innovation ecosystems, using the world’s most quality-controlled dataset on startup ecosystems. It provides compelling new insights and deep knowledge about startup trends around the world, ranks the top 30 and 10 runner-up global ecosystems and emerging ecosystems, and offers an expanded regional ranking.

The Report is driven by a consortium of representatives from over 40 countries and looks at the current state of startup activity and related investment to provide insights and guidance for public and private leaders on how to foster thriving startup communities—the top 1 engine of job creation and economic growth. Contributions from expert thought leaders and local key players further enrich the report's extensive, evidence-based findings, which are the product of over a decade of Startup Genome's independent research and policy work.