Multimedia Reporter

Talino Venture Labs, a “venture builder” and incubator focusing on inclusion technologies, has launched three new startups in partnership with leaders in various industries.

These are Saphron, a digital insurance platform, Asenso, an MSME digital supply chain firm, and Unawa, a compliance automation platform—all aimed at supporting the nation’s poorest communities.

According to the e-Conomy 2019 study by Google, Temasek, and Bain and Company, inclusion tech will drive the region’s Internet economy to $300 billion by 2025.

“We have a large, digital-savvy and tech-driven population that now consumes online. But there is still a huge underserved market at the base of the pyramid,” said Winston Damarillo, CEO of Talino Venture Labs. “For us to fully realize the potential of our market, we need to empower the underserved with more inclusive digital products and services.”

Unawa, a regulatory and compliance automation platform for businesses, was co-created with PJS Law, one of the country’s leading legal firms. One of their products, Unawa RapidStart, takes care of incorporation for new businesses to help them focus on other important matters.

“Normally, when we think of legal compliance, we immediately either get intimidated or annoyed. So with technology, we hopefully try to make it easier and maybe even exciting to comply with law,” said Atty. Monalisa Dimalanta, CEO of Unawa.

There’s also the challenge of laws and regulations having to keep up with the fast pace of technology. “Very often, we find ourselves in the unique situation of being ahead,” said Lorenzo Chan, Jr., CEO of Saphron. “So what do we comply with? What law does that apply to? We just have to make sure that it’s still all above the law, even if it has not been defined.”

In order to overcome these barriers, it’s become necessary for businesses to cooperate and boost each other.

“There are all these things that compound the unnecessary complexity of starting a company here in the Philippines,” said Damarillo. “But I think what we need to do is just team up… because the challenges are enormous enough that if we don’t have this mesh of collaboration, it would appear daunting. But we have to deal with it, because we have to progress.”

As with Unawa, Talino Venture Labs’ two other new startups were borne out of collaborations with leading firms in the country, aimed at leveraging industry expertise to build products for those most in need.

Saphron, a digital insurance platform for the poorest sectors, was conceived with Pioneer Insurance and CARD Pioneer Microinsurance Inc. (CPMI), the country’s largest microinsurance provider. One of their projects is NAN.AI, a microinsurance agent platform that cuts down the onboarding process for new customers from months to minutes using artificial intelligence tools.

Asenso, built in partnership with CPMI, is a digital supply chain and enabler for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Puhunan, one of their products, is a loan platform that provides sustainable capital through fair microfinancing.