Financial technology startup NextPay raised $1.6 million in its new round of seed funding, which was led by Golden Gate Ventures, a Singapore-based venture capital firm; and Gentree Fund, a private investment vehicle of the Sy Family, which owns Filipino conglomerate SM Group.    

The funds will be used to develop digital banking solutions for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), allowing them access to financial services such as digital invoicing, cash management, and batch payments to local banks or e-wallets. 

“We believe that business banking will continue to digitally evolve, as the Philippines accelerates its digital transformation initiatives,” said Don Pansacola, NextPay chief executive officer and co-founder, in a statement on Wednesday. “This investment supports our goal of putting the power of big banks in the hands of small businesses.”  

Other investors include Tribe Capital; Broadhaven Ventures; Ayala Group’s Kickstart Ventures; Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng of JG Summit; Rohit Mulani of GoTrade; and Goodwater Capital, which has invested in Facebook, Spotify, and Twitter.  

“NextPay uniquely addresses the local needs of its customers by matching SMEs looking to go digital with mobile and convenient digital financial tools, which scales dynamically with their businesses,” said Mark Sng, Gentree Fund vice-president.  

The fundraiser adds to the $125,000 pre-seed investment the startup received after graduating from the Y-Combinator program in April. Since its launch in 2020, NextPay has processed $9.1 million (P457.5 million) in digital transactions for more than 100 businesses. — Brontë H. Lacsamana