Manila ranks high among top Asian startup ecosystems

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The Iconic Manila City Hall Clock Tower (Photo file/THEPHILBIZNEWS)

Despite the slip of one point in the Global Innovation Index 2021, this is what the Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) 2021 featured a new Philippine startup ecosystem. Ranking among the top 30 Asian ecosystems in terms of performance, the value of Manila’s startup ecosystem is at US $584 million, with US $101 million in total early-stage funding over the last 2.5 years.  

Globally, affordable talent (or the ability to hire tech talent) is reported as the strength of the Manila startup ecosystem. Among Asian ecosystems, Manila ranked among the top 20 for Bang for Buck (or the amount of runway tech startups acquire), top 30 in knowledge (or the innovation through research and patent activity), funding, as well as talent and experience (or the access to talent by early-stage startups).  

Secretary Ramon Lopez reaffirmed the Department’s commitment to sustain and continuously improve the performance of the Philippine startup ecosystem. The trade chief also lauded the startup community for its efforts for global recognition. “We are moving forward in finalizing the structure that will allow us to maximize the utilization and effectiveness of the Startup Venture Fund (SVF) that we are allocating for the development of start-up venture in the country,” Lopez added. 

The GSER 2021 identified fintech and e-commerce as Manila’s ecosystem sub-sector strengths. Amidst the pandemic, a number of fintech startups in the Philippines have managed to raise substantial funding. Likewise, the ongoing community lockdown has accelerated the growth of the e-commerce industry in the country, with revenue estimated at over US $5 million in 2021 and with market volume projected to reach US $8.8 million by 2025.  

According to Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba, “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 startup ecosystem. Despite setbacks due to COVID-19, startups remain a catalyst for innovation. Leveraging on our strengths, the Philippines will continue to support startups by reducing barriers to entrepreneurship and providing the right conditions to boost their entrepreneurial potential.” 

The Innovative Startup Act (ISA) provides the institutional mechanism for inter-agency collaboration and funding for the implementation of startup development programs. In partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) as the lead implementing agencies of the law, the DTI aims to facilitate more collaboration between and among the government, startups, industry, and other stakeholders, implement innovation programs, establish network linkages to connect MSMEs and startups in addressing socio-economic, health, and environmental challenges as well as help them scale up and globalize. 

The GSER is the world’s most comprehensive and widely-read research on startups with 250 ecosystems studied. The GSER 2021 is published by Startup Genome – a world-leading policy advisory and research organization for governments and public-private partnerships committed to accelerating the success of their startup ecosystem – in cooperation with the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN). The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is a member of the GSER Global Network. 

Read the full #GSER2021 at:  

Manila is also featured at: