PLDT invests EUR333m in Rocket Internet to develop emerging markets payments

Philippines-based telecom operator PLDT has bought a EUR333 million, 10 per cent stake in German incubator Rocket Internet in a partnership that will see the firms growing payments services in emerging markets.

Rocket has considerable experience of investing in e-commerce, marketplace and payments in markets where a large proportion of the population are outside formal financial ecosystems, such as Asia, Africa and Latin America.

PLDT’s wireless subsidiary, Smart Communications also has a history of providing mobile solutions to the unbanked, last year handling transactions valued at around EUR3.4 billion.

The partnership will see Rocket’s global technology platform combine with PLDT’s experience and intellectual property (IP) in mobile payments and remittance platforms, to provide products and services to unbanked, uncarded and unconnected populations in emerging markets.

Oliver Samwer, CEO, Rocket Internet, comented: “Financial technology is a key focus sector for Rocket and this partnership will allow us to build on PLDT’s world-class innovations in mobile money and micro-payments and accelerate the delivery of those solutions around the world.”

Napoleon Nazareno, CEO, PLDT, added: “Our investment demonstrates our commitment to the global Internet market and our belief in the powerful synergies between e-Commerce and mobile payments, particularly in developing economies.”

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