PLDT predicted the performance of its fintech arm Voyager Innovations will turnaround by 2021, after posting loss in 2018.

Manuel Pangilinan, PLDT chairman and CEO, expects the unit to be less of a financial strain going forward, BusinessWorld reported. The business posted a loss of PHP3 billion ($57.1 million) in 2018, but raised $215 million in new funding in the final quarter of the year.

The CEO told BusinessWorld: “The volume of business is being pushed hard by KKR, Tencent and ourselves,” adding that the investors are giving PLDT the time and resources to improve Voyager Innovations.

“I think you have to build up to scale first before you could see…prospects of a turnaround.”

“The view that everybody’s taken is that let’s push it as hard as we can then determine after x months”, Pangilinan continued.

PLDT’s digital payments unit PayMaya, which is Voyager Innovations’ core business, is experiencing strong growth in subscribers, monthly active users and throughput, BusinessWorld reported.

In addition to its consumer mobile wallet, Voyager Innovations’ platforms run the PayMaya Business enterprise unit, remittance company Smart Padala, online lending platform Lendr, and loyalty and awards platform Freenet.

Reduced stake
In November 2018, Voyager Innovations raised $175 million worth of private investments after selling minority stakes to private equity company KKR and Tencent. A month later, it closed a $40 million investment from International Finance Corp and IFC Emerging Asia Fund.

The move reduced PLDT’s holding to below 50 per cent, though it remains the largest shareholder.

Last week PLDT reported its net income in 2018 increased 40.5 per cent year-on-year to PHP18.92 billion, with consolidated service revenue rising 5 per cent to PHP150.5 billion.

The operator said 2018 was a breakthrough year, with all of its main businesses – home, enterprise and consumer wireless – registering robust top-line growth.