PLDT invests $445m in Rocket Internet

Eden Estopace
Retail Tech Innovation

PLDT has announced a strategic partnership with Berlin-based global incubator Rocket Internet AG, to drive the development of online and mobile payment solutions in emerging markets.

Under the partnership agreement, PLDT said it will invest €333 million ($445 million) for a 10% stake in Rocket, whose e-commerce brands include established Southeast Asian businesses Zalora and Lazada. They also include the brands Dafiti, Linio, Jumia, Namshi, Lamoda, Jabong, Westwing, Home24 and HelloFresh, in Latin America, Africa, Middle East, Russia, India and Europe.

The Philippines' largest telecommunication company said combining Rocket's global technology platform and its own mobile payments and remittance platforms will provide both companies the leverage to develop products and services for the “unbanked, uncarded and unconnected” population in emerging markets.

"Our investment demonstrates our commitment to the global internet market and our belief in the powerful synergies between e-commerce and mobile payments, particularly in developing economies," Napoleon L. Nazareno, President and CEO of PLDT, said in a statement.

PLDT’s wireless subsidiary Smart has introduced several payment innovations in domestic and global markets. Its services include online money transfers, payments, disbursement, banking and security.

PLDT joins Investment AB Kinnevik and Access Industries as the third external investor in Rocket, in addition to Global Founders GmbH (formerly European Founders Fund GmbH).

Commentary

5G and data center-friendly network architectures

Matt Walker / MTN Consulting

Webscale and transmission network operators' interests are aligning as the 5G era dawns

Matt Walker / MTN Consulting

Webscale and transmission network operators' interests are aligning as the 5G era dawns

Rémy Pascal / Analysys Mason

The launch of 5G by South Korean operators serves as a first benchmark for other operators around the world