Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) has created a new investment arm, PLDT Capital, which aims to connect the PLDT Group of Companies with leading companies in Silicon Valley and around the world.
PLDT Capital will invest $50 million in 2015 to support PLDT business units Smart, ePLDT, Digital5 and Voyager to grow their portfolio of digital services here and abroad.
“Were working on it with urgency, you know. We can’t really tell other than put your best effort. Winning is a combination of making a shot and the competitor not making their shot,” PLDT Capital managing director Winston Damarillo, who is also chief strategy officer of PLDT, told reporters.
He said PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan talked about the digital pivot and “we need to follow through his statement and be aggressive in making that happen.”
Damarillo noted that the PLDT Group “serves more than 70 million mobile and internet customers in the Asean region.”
PLDT Capital will be led by Damarillo and Anabelle Chua, chief financial officer of PLDT.
“In addition to investments, PLDT Capital aims to become the gateway for the most promising startups to expand their opportunities to the fast growing digital consumers in the ASEAN region,” Damarillo explained.
The PLDT Group has recently made investments through its corporate development initiative, notably in Rocket Internet, among others. PLDT Capital is specifically created to focus on investments that support the PLDT core businesses.
“PLDT Capital serves as an important pillar to sustain our Digital Pivot,” Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman of the PLDT Group said in a statement.
“To provide the best possible digital experience to our customers, we must collaborate with world-class companies. We look forward to bridging the best of Silicon Valley talent with our own Filipino innovators to expand the opportunities of PLDT,” he added.
PLDT Capital will be supported by a team of strategists, engineers, and product managers who will also be identified from the Group.
PLDT Capital has formally started operations in El Segundo, within Los Angeles County, California, and has presence in Silicon Valley.
“We’re still a leader. What we’re trying to do is to regain the momentum. I think that’s the important part,” Damarillo said.