With purchasing power and a lack of cash still a major issue in the Philippines, financial services startup Plentina—backed by socially conscious early-stage venture capital fund Ignite Impact Fund (Ignite)—seeks to make credit lines available to the majority of Filipinos for a wide range of needs and essentials.
Touting its focus on an easy-to-use “buy now, pay later” mobile platform through its app, Plentina wants to give Filipinos, especially those without access to credit cards, another convenient payment method in cases where cash is unavailable or insufficient. It does this by giving out relatively small installment loans for purchases in partner retailers that can be repaid in flexible terms.
Initially starting from a partnership with national-scale vendors such as 7-Eleven and Smart Communications, Plentina now boasts tie-ups with various retailers, including Lazada, Zalora, McDonald’s, Philippine Airlines, National Bookstore, and more. There is now a growing waitlist of brands wishing to partner with the platform to allow customers to make more purchases on credit.
Plentina had managed to raise a total of $5.7 million, with the latest round in November 2021 amounting to $2.2 million. Ignite was a part of the company’s last round, with the aim of backing the platform’s continued growth in the Philippines, where financial inclusion among the majority of Filipinos is still an unrealized dream with around 98% of Filpiinos not having easy access to a credit card.
“We built Plentina because we wanted to impact people positively. Having someone like Maoi Arroyo and their team at Ignite Impact Fund that is very impact-focused keeps us honest of why we truly built this in the first place and helps us scale in market with their connections and strategic advice,” said Earl Valencia, co-founder of Plentina, who previously was an executive at Smart and tech companies such as Cisco and Dell EMC and US-based investment brokerage firm Charles Schwab.
He started Plentina with his classmate from Stanford, Kevin Gabayan, a former engineer and data scientist from Google with their joint passion to use data, machine learning and partnerships to unlock more opportunities for Filipinos and other underserved communities in emerging markets.
“As our chief goal at Ignite is to help eradicate extreme poverty in the Philippines, any startup that provides ordinary Filipinos even greater purchasing power such as Plentina is a welcome development in this country. This is why we firmly believe in Plentina’s vision,” said Maoi Arroyo, founder of Ignite Impact Fund.
Ignite has currently invested in a wide variety of startups and business ideas that make meaningful social and environmental impacts in the Philippines. For more information on Ignite Impact Fund and their ventures, follow their official Facebook page at facebook.com/IgniteImpactPH and visit their website at https://igniteimpact.fund.