Philippines telco PLDT and Berlin-based Rocket Internet have agreed to establish a global joint venture for online and mobile payment services focusing on emerging markets.
Under the agreement announced on Tuesday, each partner will hold a 50% stake in the JV.
The project - which is envisaged as a global partnership that was kicked off by the pre-IPO investment of PLDT in Rocket in 2014 - will involve combining the assets of the two firms to create a global partnership that aims to capture the potential of mobile-first payment services especially in emerging markets.
PLDT will contribute the intellectual property, platforms and business operations of its mobile payment platform Smart e-Money (SMI), which has over 5 million active customers and 300,000 trade accounts.
“PLDT continues to build on its strategy to become a driving force in the digital economy, and with Rocket, we have a partner who understands the DNA of the global internet market more than any other company,” said Napoleon L. Nazareno, president and CEO of PLDT.
“We look forward to continuing the long-term success story of Smart Money and optimizing the synergies between e-commerce and innovative mobile-first payment solutions."
Rocket Internet, on the other hand, will contribute its participations in Paymill Holding GmbH (“Paymill”) and Payleven Holding GmbH (“Payleven”).
Paymill and Payleven are two of the leading payment platforms for high growth, small-and-medium-sized e-commerce businesses across Europe.
The agreement is subject to approval by relevant authorities and is expected to close within the first quarter, the firms said in a joint statement.