By: 15 June 2023

This brings the total committed capital managed by the VC firm to $16.5m

Kaya Founders raises $12m to back Philippine-based tech startups

Kaya Founders, a Philippines-based VC firm, has raised $12m in the first of two funding rounds.  

The VC firm is targeting $25m in total, to back the next generation of “tech-enabled, industry-shaping startups” across Asia.  

The funding was anchored by the Gokongwei family, with participation from institutional investors, family offices and prominent entrepreneurs.  

This brings the total committed capital managed by the firm to $16.5m.  

Kaya Founders is particularly focused on nurturing startups in its home country, where a “growing internet economy, a young and talented English-speaking population” represents a significant opportunity. 

Funding closed by Philippine startups exceeded a record $1b for two years in a row between 2021 and 2022, making it an ideal environment for Kaya as an early-stage investor.  

The VC firm was founded in 2021 by Paulo Campos, Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng and Constantin Robertz. To date, it has 31 companies in its portfolio, including ecommerce enabler Etaily, salary-on-demand startup Advance, and point of sale app Peddlr 

Campos commented: “The burgeoning tech scene in the Philippines is reminiscent of previous growth narratives seen in markets such as India in the 2000s and Indonesia over the past decade.  

“The surge in these countries’ technology sectors were propelled by a confluence of factors, including favourable demographics and supportive government policies, but arguably no other factor played a more pivotal role than the critical mass of tech talent. 

“The same is proving to be true for the Philippines, as new breeds of founders begin to emerge.”  

Image: Kaya Founders  

Josh Poyser
Josh Poyser is an editor at FinTech Intel. He has written about fintech for several years and appeared at FinTech Connect 2023 on the 'Unlocking Success: The Art of Fintech PR' panel.