Another digital payment system is set to conquer the Philippine market and expand to the rest of the ASEAN region with the rise of SquidPay Tecnology, Inc., an emerging Filipino FinTech company launched in May 2020. The company recently closed Php 100 Million ($2.08 million) in Series A and Php 100 Million ($2.08 million) line of credit arranged by Eastern Securities Development Corporation (ESDC) for its first round of funding.

It was an unexpected investment to the startup that is now valued at PhP 1.1 billion or approximately $22.80 million post-money. “This news surprised us too. We did not expect any funding to come until the late first quarter of next year,” Marvin Dela Cruz, Chief Executive Officer of SquidPay, says of the funding.

With the Philippine economy still reeling from the effects of the pandemic, investor confidence has not been rosy except for some sectors such as real property and businesses that provide services deemed vital to the new normal.

Dela Cruz expressed elation over the successful funding round. “This gives us confidence that there are people who strongly believe in what SquidPay can achieve,” the SquidPay CEO enthuses.

The company says it plans to use the newly-secured capital to rapidly expand SquidPay’s reach and accessibility through kiosks and business centers in key locations across the country. Expansion activities will commence next year.

A relatively new player in the financial technology market, SquidPay aims to provide a convenient and efficient electronic payment solution for all Filipinos. The company envisions a cashless society anchored on a free payment platform.

SquidPay offers advanced end-to-end instantaneous digital payment and collection services through a variety of methods. These include QR codes, mobile apps, and stored-value cards.

The Manila-based company seeks to help Filipino consumers maximize their purchasing power not only through a convenient payment system but also by offering discounts and rebates whenever consumers buy goods, pay for services and bills, purchase tickets, and do other transactions. The company also offers an automated fare collection solution, prepaid card service, and toll fee payment system.

To ensure wider adoption and seamless services, SquidPay has already forged partnerships with various national agencies, banks and other financial institutions, local government units, public utility vehicle operators and transport systems, private companies, and other FinTech service providers.

Of note, SquidPay has been working with the Baguio City government for the pilot deployment of its services in line with the government initiative of turning the summer capital of the Philippines into the country’s first smart city. The company estimates that around 35 percent of the city’s population are already registered SquidPay users. It expects to have 50 percent of Baguio City’s population as registered users by year’s end.

Digital transactions in the Philippines are poised for rapid growth as the country’s Central Bank (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) already laid out plans to migrate the country’s economy from cash to digital-based. The unexpected investor interest in SquidPay is a good sign of how businesses are responding to the digital revolution in the Philippines.