MANILA is one of the top emerging ecosystems for start-ups in the world amid its growing financial technology (fintech) and e-commerce space, according to a study by Startup Genome and Global Entrepreneurship Network.

The Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) 2021 put Manila within the 91-100 ranking out of the top 100 emerging start-up ecosystems across the globe.

It places the city in the same league as Prague, Memphis, Reykjavik, Lille, Burlington, Omaha-Lincon, Belfast and Hanoi. This list is led by (in order) Mumbai, Copenhagen, Jakarta, Guangzhou and Barcelona.

The report noted that the top 100 emerging ecosystems established $124-billion start-ups within 2011 to 2020, majority of which were contributed by 53 cities.

“The Philippine start-up ecosystem is rapidly developing with stronger government support particularly in high-growth services, such as AI [artificial intelligence], Big Data, and fintech, among others,” the report said.

The Philippines has $101 million worth of early-stage funding and $584 million in ecosystem value.

GSER pointed out that fintech start-ups in the Philippines were able to take advantage of the increased mobile banking usage, enabling regulatory environment and unbanked segments. It noted that several local fintech firms were able to boost transaction volume and raise funding for expansion, citing PayMongo, Squidpay and NextPay.

The shift to digital, meanwhile, allowed the e-commerce sector to flourish, the report said, which benefited start-ups in this field. The e-commerce revenues are pegged at over $5 million this year and forecast to reach $8.8 million in 2025.

“The continued emergence of fintech and e-commerce startups in the Philippine market highlights the important role of the government in addressing market failures and creating an enabling environment which is crucial in developing a robust start-up ecosystem,” Trade Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba said in a statement on Thursday.

The report noted that the Philippine Innovation Act and the Innovative Startup Act are policies that enable the country to improve its innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

These are parallel with the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy, which seeks to support the innovative start-ups amid the industry 4.0.

In addition, the DTI previously launched the National AI Strategy Roadmap which aims to make the country a big data processing and analytics hub that can provide high-value services. It also provides incubation, commercialization support and fiscal incentives, among others, to innovative start-ups.

In Asia, Manila is among the top 30 best performers in the survey; Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul and Singapore took the lead. The regional ecosystem is worth $1.1 trillion, which is about 30 percent of the global share.

The best start-up ecosystems across the globe, meanwhile, include the Silicon Valley, London, New York City, Beijing, Boston, Los Angeles, Tel Aviv, Shanghai, Tokyo and Seattle.





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