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NY-based Bow Wave pours $175-million investment into GCash

Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. (Mynt), the fintech arm of Globe Telecom received $175 million in fresh capital from the New York-based capital management firm Bow Wave and its existing shareholders in multiple tranches making its post-money valuation of the final tranches at close to $1 billion.

Mynt is the operator of GCash, one of the Philippines’ first mobile wallets.

The investment is through ASP Philippines LP, a limited partnership fund managed by Bow Wave. UBS AG, a Swiss multinational investment bank and financial services company, acted as a financial adviser for Mynt for the transaction.

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“This investment from Bow Wave is a validation of both what we have accomplished as well as the potential of GCash in unlocking digital services in the Philippines,” said Martha Sazon, president and CEO of Mynt. “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 democratized access to payment and financial services to every Filipino.”

Sazon took over the helm of Mynt in April 2020 from Anthony Thomas, who led the financial technology company for three years.

Philippine fintech

“Mynt has made great strides in the fintech space in the Philippines. Recognizing this fact and our shared values, Bow Wave supports the vision of Mynt to provide finance for all Filipinos. We are excited about this investment and we hope to add value to Mynt as it realizes its vision,” said Itai Lemberger, founder and CIO of Bow Wave.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the growth of digital services including cashless or mobile payments. GCash recorded a gross transaction value of over P1 trillion in 2020, spurred by services like online payments, bank cash-in, and sending money.

According to GCash, currently has over 33 million subscribers. Users have been able to maximize the use of their mobile wallets to transact physically and online, to purchase airtime load, to open deposit accounts, to save and invest in money market funds, and to acquire insurance products.

“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 toward a cashless lifestyle. We are confident in Mynt’s future prospects as a unicorn in the Philippines,” said Ernest L. Cu, chair of the board of Mynt.

Bow Wave is a close-ended private equity fund with a mandate to invest globally in online and mobile payment ecosystem companies. Bow Wave’s investment in Mynt, its first in the Philippines, will translate to a minority equity interest in the Mynt. Other terms of the investment remain confidential.