In the Philippines, a lot of foreign venture funds are doubling up their efforts to invest in app makers. Most of them are hoping that the increase of smartphone sales will trigger the need for more home-grown applications.
500 Startups, a San Francisco-based venture capital company, has launched 500 Kulfi fund, named after a well-known Indian sweet dish, to invest in the local makers of mobile applications. Since 2011, 500 Startups has made investments in more than 50 companies in the Philippines, where they have had over 20 deals. After China, Philippines has the second biggest internet population all over the world with over 400 million users. By 2020, the number of smartphones is expected to reach more than 900 million.
Most people in the Philippines use their smartphones in almost every aspect of their lives, even more so than computers. This is very beneficial for app-makers and their respective investors, especially now that smartphone sales in China are slowly declining.
According to Alex Yao, SVP Strategy, Innovation at PhilTech Mobile China will most likely be the remaining growth engine for mobile internet, and given the likeness in terms of its large population, what happened in China could very well repeat itself in the Philippines in upcoming years.