Image credit: Dragonpay

Image credit: Dragonpay

Dragonpay, an alternative-payment solutions based in the Philippines, yesterday raised an undisclosed amount in Series A investment from Japan-based GMO Global Payment Fund.

The capital, according to the company, will be used for accelerating growth and awareness of e-commerce and e-payments, as well as to create new mobile and physical payment channels.

According to its website, the fund was established with US$15 million, and ‘targets payments companies with innovative, disruptive, high potential entrepreneurs and teams throughout Asia, especially in Southeast Asia’.

“The Philippines has a population of over 100 million with a mobile phone penetration of over 100 per cent. Smartphones are estimated to account already for at least 35 per cent of the total phone market. It is prime for electronic transactions to take off. I believe GMO’s timing to enter the local market is just perfect. We look forward to gaining knowledge from their experience in being the biggest e-payment player in Japan,” Robertson Chiang, Co-founder, Dragonpay told e27.

GMO Venture Partners

GMO Venture Partners

Startups, especially in the cryptocurrency space, such as Coins.ph and others, are increasingly targeting remittances (sending money as a gift) in the Philippines with competitive services. The market is now estimated to be worth US$25 billion, largely thanks to the 10 million Filipinos working overseas.

Also Read: Bitcoin is the perfect disruptive technology for Asia: Coins.ph’s Ron Hose

The company says there are currently over 10,000 physical payment channel partners that accept over-the-counter cash payments for Dragonpay ranging from groceries, remittance centres, supermarkets, pawnshops, gas stations and business service centres.

Ryu Muramatsu, Co-founder, GMO Payment Gateway, said in a statement, “I love this huge, but growing and unbanked market with 100 million people. What Dragonpay is providing is not only an e-commerce online payment in Western world understanding.”

“Dragonpay provides the ‘Life payment’ itself. In Philippines, 80 per cent of total population don’t possess a bank account and these people need to pay and buy everything offline. We are keen to learn and support this market to develop,” he added.

GMO Payment Gateway, the parent company behind the VC arm, is described as the biggest online payment gateway in Japan. Its other investments in the region include Singapore-based Red Dot Payment and Coda Payment, as well as Thailand-based 2C2P.