FILIPINO fintech startup NextPay raised $1.6 million from a new round of seed funding led by Golden Gate Ventures, a Singapore-based venture capital firm, and Gentree Fund, the private investment vehicle of the Sy family, which owns the SM Group.

NextPay, which was launched during the pandemic in 2020, plans to use the funds to develop more digital banking solutions for its growing customer base of entrepreneurs, freelancers, and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). It aims to provide access to financial services like digital invoicing, cash management, and batch payments to any bank or e-wallet in the Philippines.

Since its launch, the startup has processed over $9.1 million (P457.5 million) in digital transactions for more than 100 businesses with over 3,500 employees, the statement said.

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

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

The fundraiser adds to the $125,000 pre-seed investment the startup received after graduating from the Y-Combinator program in April.

NextPay is now seeking partnerships with other organizations, businesses, and startups to create a more seamless financial ecosystem for its clients.

“The success of our seed funding exercise will help us accelerate our plans of introducing more meaningful digital banking solutions, including, but not limited to, corporate cards, loans, and integrations with other platforms focused on MSMEs. We will also be hiring more talent to make the NextPay platform more comprehensive, simple, and easier to use and avail of,” said NextPay Co-Founder and Chief Experience Officer Aldrich Tan.

“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,” Gentree Fund Vice President Mark Sng said. “As a key infrastructure layer for our budding Philippines startup ecosystem, Gentree believes that NextPay will play a key role in supporting our entrepreneurs and enabling the Philippines digital economy.” — BHL