Mynt, the parent company of mobile wallet provider GCash and the FinTech arm of Globe Telecom, has raised a $175 million investment from New York-based investors led by Bow Wave Capital Management. According to the FinTech company, the investment raises the valuation of GCash to “close to $1 billion.”

In a statement, Bow Wave Founder and Chief Information Officer Itai Lemberger expressed optimism for GCash’s continued growth in the country, amid the rise in mobile- and electronic-wallet usage. “Bow Wave supports the vision of Mynt to provide finance for all Filipinos. We are excited for this investment and we hope to add value to Mynt as it realizes its vision,” he said in a statement.

GCash has reportedly facilitated over $20.78 billion (PhP1 trillion) in in-app transactions in 2020 and grew its customer base to 33 million, amid increased demand for online payments and money transfer transactions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic has acted as a catalyst in highlighting the importance of digital finance in society today and with this investment from Bow Wave, we look forward to further living out our vision of finance for all, enabling democratised access to payment and financial services to every Filipino,” said Martha Sazon, President and CEO of Mynt.

“We are further encouraged by the fact that Mynt’s momentum has continued, even as the country moved out of quarantine restrictions, suggesting a fundamental shift in our customers’ behavior towards a cashless lifestyle,” said Ernest L. Cu, chairman of the Board at Mynt.

GCash was founded in 2004 under G-Xchange, Inc. (GXI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom. It is considered an early player in the mobile payments and mobile wallets industry. It wasn’t until the rise and popularity of smartphone applications when GCash and similar solutions met with significant traction. The global pandemic and increased access to digital commerce further accelerated the demand for digital transactions. GCash transactions reportedly rose 700 percent year-on-year as of May 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.

Mynt was founded in 2015 as a partnership between Ant Financial, Globe Telecom, and Ayala Corporation (principal shareholder of Globe along with Singtel and Asiacom Philippines). Aside from taking in GXI and GCash as its subsidiary, it also runs Fuse Lending, a licensed lending institution that caters to the underserved and unbanked population in the Philippines, aiming to create and sustain opportunities for growth and stability for individuals and businesses alike through FinTech-enabled lending.