Over the weekend, fintech startup Vesl beat out eight other female-founded startups for top prize at She Loves Tech Philippines, a pitch competition hosted by QBO Philippines and She Loves Tech.

Vesl is a financial technology company innovating the trade finance sector by providing a platform that connects trade lenders and businesses to per invoice trade credit insurers, among other specialized insurance products.

Led by an all-women founding team of Maureen Nova Ledesma, Jessica Manipon, and Yroen Guaya Melgar, Vesl has previously been accelerated by Startupbootcamp Fintech in 2017. They’re backed by a combination of strategic corporate investors and family offices in the Philippines, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

After winning She Loves Tech Philippines held last Saturday, Aug 3, their team will be moving on to compete on the global stage at She Loves Tech 2019, to be held in Bejing. There they will participate in a week-long bootcamp, and gain numerous networking and immersion opportunities with China’s leading tech players in the days leading up to the finals. At Global Finals, to be held during the International Conference on September 14, Vesl will be given a pitching spot, competing against finalists from around the world, for a chance to win an equity-free cash prize of $15,000 from Teja Ventures, a VC fund with a gender lens and She Loves Tech’s official venture partner.

Founded in 2015 and now the largest startup competition promoting both technology for women and technology by women, She Loves Tech has featured over a thousand startups across the globe who have gone on to collectively raise more than $70 million dollars from top venture capital firms like Sequoia Capital and Wavemaker, as well as tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon.

The eight other competing teams at last weekend’s event were: FHMoms, Antipara Exploration Inc, Payo, StyleGenie, 1Export, Goally, Container Living PH, and SmartBride.

Vesl was also awarded the SparkUp Bayanihan Ecosystem Award, along with logistics-tech startup 1Export and fashion subscription service StyleGenie.

“This Bayanihan Award reinforces our team to work harder in serving both online shoppers and MSME retail brands through our platform,” said StyleGenie co-founder and CEO Abbie Victorino, who co-founded the fashion-tech company with Steph Oller, Minrie Macapugay, and Rhijean Sarenas.

“We are grateful for the Sparkup Bayanihan Ecosystem Award because it validates the work that we currently do for MSMEs in the country. We believe that we still need to learn and do so much for Philippine exports, and this award gives us a platform to show what we can do to contribute,” said 1Export founder and CEO Mel Nava.

With their victory in She Loves Tech Philippines 2019, Vesl will have even more resources to scale their platform across Southeast Asia. They will get a US$15,000 activate package courtesy of Amazon Web Services, copies of The Finishers courtesy of Ambidextr, and media values from SparkUp. 

“This win is very encouraging for Vesl to keep the faith and stay on course,” ” said Vesl Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer Maureen Nova Ledesma. “However, we know that this is just one step towards our goals and that real victory is measured by our impact to society. We go full speed ahead towards closing the trade finance gap. It’s a bonus to be recognized.”