Gree Ventures Backs Philippines Payments Business

By: Tim Burroughs

Gree Ventures has participated in a Series C round of funding for Philippines-based digital payments business Ayannah. Wavemaker Labs, Golden Gate Ventures, IMJ Investment Partners and Beenos Asia also participated. 

Ayannah's flagship product is Sendah, a B2C service targeting the estimated 12 million Filipinos living overseas who want to remit money back into the country to support their families. The service currently has around 50,000 users and is looking to expand its customer base to include migrant communities from South Asia, Latin America and other markets. 

The company also operates Sendah Direct, a B2B platform that serves the large portion of Filipinos who remain without access to banks. The business was started in October 2010 as a distributor of pre-paid mobile credits and then moved into online game credits and micro-insurance products. Now, with a network of more than 7,000 distributors and agents serving over 9 million customers, it has entered the domestic remittance space. 

According to AVCJ Research, Siemer Ventures and Golden Gate invested $1 million in Ayannah in June 2013. This was followed one year later by another $1 million round, with IMJ and Beenos joining Siemer and Golden Gate. "Ayannah has made great strides and we hope that our investment will allow Ayannah to continue and accelerate its progress to become the leading digital commerce and payment service for the vast majority of Filipinos who remain unbanked and who rely on remittances for support. We also would like to help Ayannah expand to other emerging markets in South East Asia," Kuan Hsu, principal at Gree Ventures, said in a statement.

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