PLDT, Rocket Internet form emerging markets vehicle - Mobile World Live

PLDT, Rocket Internet form emerging markets vehicle

06 JAN 2015

Philippines telecoms giant PLDT and Rocket Internet, the German investor, are each contributing their payment activities to a mobile-first venture with a focus on emerging markets.

PLDT, an innovator domestically over many years in payments, will contribute the IP, platforms and business operations of Smart e-Money, a leader in mobile banking and remittances. Smart is the largest mobile operator in the Philippines.

Rocket’s contribution to the venture is Paymill, an online payments firm, and Payleven, which enables small businesses to accept transactions via smartphone and tablet.

The new venture, which does not currently have a name, is 50-50 owned. The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2015.

The two partners announced last summer their intention to work together when PLDT bought a 10 per cent stake in the German firm for $446 million. The current announcement gives more detail about their plans. However, it is not yet clear what new services they plan to launch.

Rocket has built its reputation by rapidly reproducing the successful business models of others, while Smart has a long history of payment innovation for the unbanked in the developing world. Hence the combination has the potential to produce some interesting results.


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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