Revolutionising digital entertainment in the Philippines

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

BingoPlus

Putting the GAME in eGaming: DigiPlus utilises cutting-edge technologies and a deep bench of experts from different spaces within the gaming industry.

Traditional bingo is deeply ingrained in Filipino culture. Such gaming activities have served as a space where people from all walks of life get to enjoy, relax, and build meaningful connections with every game.

However, the unprecedented times brought by the pandemic changed the entire gaming industry amidst quarantine restrictions preventing any form of social gatherings. The public crisis also rapidly pushed digital adoption across the world. This comes amidst a digitally adept young demographic and a significant penetration of the Internet and smartphones in recent years.

This brought both a challenge and an opportunity for gaming and leisure company DigiPlus Interactive in leading digitalisation in the Philippine gaming industry whilst creating enjoyable experiences for its players across channels.

DigiPlus Interactive has launched BingoPlus in January 2022. It is the first digital platform where bingo-loving Filipinos can play with the convenience of time and place by bringing the game live online. BingoPlus leverages the company’s deep understanding of its customers whilst bringing in innovation and technologies to offer new entertainment product formats to more Filipinos.

BingoPlus’ brick-and-mortar or traditional bingo operations also complemented the foray into the digital space. DigiPlus Interactive currently operates at least 200 bingo halls in different parts of the Philippines, which continue to be popular amongst Filipinos.

The strong performance of BingoPlus propelled the robust growth of DigiPlus. In 2022, DigiPlus posted a turnaround in its financial performance, with a net income of ₱686.9m coming from a net loss of ₱894.6m in the previous year. Furthermore, in the first nine months of 2023, DigiPlus registered a net income of ₱2.1b, more than a tenfold growth from 2022.

As the first and only government-licensed digital bingo platform in the country, BingoPlus is reshaping the country’s gaming industry. Continuing to dominate the digital gaming space, BingoPlus has opened up new opportunities, triggering a proliferation of online gaming platforms in the Philippines. This healthy competition fosters innovation and creativity that fundamentally benefits the customers.

The platform has also since become a community and entertainment platform, a source of revenue for the Philippine government, and a contributor to various social and educational non-profit programmes.

“The success of BingoPlus has paved the way for [DigiPlus] to undertake a strategic transformation to position itself as a digital entertainment platform,” the company said. It added its plans of launching new and innovative game offerings to cater to broader demographics and lifestyle preferences.

The platform’s continued investment in research and development, as well as its efforts in revolutionising the digital gaming experience, has been lauded by the inaugural Asian Management Excellence Awards, with the company bringing home the Philippines Innovator of the Year - Media & Entertainment category win.

The coveted awards programme celebrates the finest business leaders, innovators, and companies in Asia, and commends exceptional achievements in the various aspects of operations, including employee engagement programmes, diversity and inclusion projects, and health and wellness initiatives.
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DTI invites creative startups to jumpstart businesses with IDEA, ADVanCE programs

Friday, February 2, 2024



The Department of Trade and Industry, through the Competitiveness and Innovation Group (DTI-CIG), is looking for creative startup companies to onboard to their two programs designed to support and strengthen the creative industries in the Philippines. 

The DTI-CIG, led by Undersecretary Rafaelita M. Aldaba, in partnership with startup accelerator Launchgarage, has launched the creatives edition of the Incubation, Development, and Entrepreneurial Assistance (IDEA) and Accelerating Development, Valuation, and Corporate Entrepreneurship (ADVanCE) programs aimed at providing customized support to creative startups in the Philippines to help them become market and investment-ready.

The application period is until 11 February 2024. To know more about the programs and submit applications, interested parties can visit the official websites of the IDEA program-creatives edition and the ADVanCE program, as well as the DTI-CIG Facebook page.

"The programs are a testament to the Philippine government's belief in the immense potential of Filipino creativity and entrepreneurship. By providing the much-needed support and platform, we are setting the stage for creative startups to not only thrive locally but also make a significant impact on the global stage. The creative sector is a vital component of our economy and cultural identity, and through initiatives like these, we aim to foster an environment where ideas can flourish, talents are honed, and success stories are born," Usec. Aldaba said.

The Philippine creative industries play a significant role in the national economy. Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) revealed the creative economy amounted to P1.60 trillion in 2022, contributing 7.3% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Furthermore, the sector was responsible for employing almost 7 million Filipinos that year.

The IDEA for Creatives edition will onboard 10 early-stage creative startups and enterprises to support and enhance their entrepreneurial capacity and readiness. Under the program, selected startups will participate in various educational workshops aimed at transforming their inventive business concepts into successful enterprises. Each will be paired with experienced mentors and coaches to guide them in their startup journey. The program culminates with a showcase event, where startups can present their ventures to program stakeholders, angel investors, venture capitalists, corporate representatives, and key figures in the ecosystem.

Early-stage startups that are operating in the Philippines with a minimum viable product, registered or in the process of registration to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or DTI, with 60% of its founders Filipino, and with at least two founders committed to the IDEA program, are eligible to apply.

Meanwhile, an initial pool of 10-15 startups will be chosen to participate in the ADVanCE for Creatives. After the preliminary screening, they will be assessed based on organizational capacity, business maturity, and readiness levels. From there, five participating startups will be selected to proceed to the acceleration phase and undergo intensive training based on the specific interventions identified from the needs assessment.

To be eligible, startups should be in their growth and expansion stage and are based in the country with at least two years of operations with revenue, SEC or DTI-registered, with 60% of its founders Filipino, and with at least two founders committed to the ADVanCE program.

DTI welcomes all creative startups within the domains of audiovisual media, digital interactive media, creative services, design, publishing and printed media, performing arts, visual arts, traditional cultural expressions, and cultural sites to apply to the programs.

"We call on all eligible creative startups to seize this unparalleled opportunity. Join us in this endeavor to transform your innovative ideas into successful enterprises and become part of a movement that celebrates and elevates Filipino talent and ingenuity," Aldaba shares.

The IDEA and ADVanCE programs are aligned with RA 11337, or the Innovative Startup Act, aimed at providing benefits and programs to strengthen, promote, and develop the Philippine startup ecosystem. Their latest cohorts will focus on the creative industries in accordance with Republic Act No. 11904 or the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act (PCIDA), which mandates the development of a vibrant and globally competitive Philippine creative sector by protecting and enhancing their rights and boosting economic capacities.

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PLDT Home Gigabit Fiber Plans: Revolutionizing Philippine Broadband with Ultra-Fast Connectivity


PLDT Home is once again pushing the boundaries of Philippine broadband with the launch of its Gigabit Fiber Plans. Designed to provide Filipinos with the fastest and most reliable internet available today, these plans mark a significant leap into the Gigabit Era, showcasing PLDT Home's commitment to digital innovation.

PLDT Home has a history of introducing unprecedented internet speeds, having been the first to offer speeds of up to 1 Gbps. Now, with the Gigabit Fiber Plans, Filipinos can experience internet speeds of up to an astonishing 10 Gbps, a testament to PLDT Home's dedication to keeping the nation at the forefront of digital advancements.

 PLDT Home's Gigabit Fiber comes in four plans: 1 Gbps, 2.5 Gbps, 5 Gbps, and a maximum of 10 Gbps. These mind-blowing speeds enable simultaneous ultra-fast and high-bandwidth online activities for everyone at home. Each Gigabit Fiber plan includes a Gigabit modem, a whole-home WiFi 6 mesh system, subscriptions to IPTV and global streaming apps, and security services for personal devices.

Subscribers to Gigabit Fiber plans enjoy exclusive perks, including premium welcome kits and access to PLDT Home exclusive events and venues. This not only enhances their digital experience but also underscores PLDT Home's commitment to providing VIP treatment to its valued customers.

Gigabit speed is the next generation of Fiber high-speed internet, offering speeds at least 100 times faster than today's average internet connections. This level of connectivity is crucial for large families and groups with high demands for lag-free connections across various devices, reflecting the evolving digital landscape in Filipino homes.

A Global Elite With the introduction of Gigabit Fiber plans, the Philippines joins an elite roster of nations, including South Korea, Japan, and the United States, that are Gigabit-ready. PLDT Home's leadership in digital innovations reinforces its commitment to driving advancements in communication, information consumption, business, education, creative pursuits, and entertainment experiences.

PLDT Home's Gigabit Fiber plans, reaching maximum speeds of 10 Gbps, empower Filipinos with life-changing internet speeds. This innovation supports next-level efficiency and productivity, seamless entertainment experiences, and peak convenience in smart homes. As PLDT Home sets new standards for digital innovations, it anticipates a surge in opportunities for Filipinos in various aspects of life.

Initially launching in select villages in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao, PLDT Home's Gigabit Fiber plans promise to elevate the digital experience for residents in these areas. The expansion of this service is expected to bring about limitless possibilities and a major boost to the Philippines' digital landscape.

PLDT Home's Gigabit Fiber plans mark a significant milestone in the country's digital evolution, offering unparalleled internet speeds and comprehensive packages. As the Philippines embraces the Gigabit Era, PLDT Home stands as a digital innovations leader, ushering in a new era of connectivity and limitless possibilities for Filipinos.
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Jollibee Celebrates Prestigious Anvil Awards Victories

Thursday, February 1, 2024



Jollibee, the Philippines' largest and most beloved fast-food chain, is thrilled to announce its triumphant wins at the prestigious Anvil Awards.

Presented annually by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP), the ANVIL is the symbol of Excellence in Public Relations. It is awarded to outstanding public relations programs, tools and now, practitioners after careful screening by select PR professionals and judging by a distinguished multi-sectoral jury.

The brand shined brightly with its accolades in several categories, including a Grand Anvil Nomination, underscoring its commitment to innovative and impactful campaigns.

Anvil Awards Achievements

Jollibee's outstanding entries were recognized in the following categories:

Title of Entry: Jollibee’s "Sarap ng Pasko"
Category: PR Programs – Marketing and Brand Communication
Anvil Award: Gold

Title of Entry: Jollibee’s “Sarap ng Pasko”
Category: PR Programs – Best Use of Digital
Anvil Award: Silver 

Title of Entry: Jollibee’s Christmas Drive-Thru Experience
Category: PR Programs – Marketing and Brand Communication
Anvil Award: Silver 

Title of Entry: Jollibee Chicken Sandwich 2023 Campaign featuring Belle Mariano and Donny Pangilinan
Category: PR Programs – Best Use of Influencer Marketing
Anvil Award: Silver 

Title of Entry: My Kwentong Jollibee Mother’s Day: Louder than Words
Category: PR Programs – Best Use of Social Media
Anvil Award: Silver

Dorothy Dee Ching, Jollibee's Head of Marketing, expressed her delight and gratitude for the wins, "These awards are a testament to our Marketing team's creativity and commitment to excellence, and the collaborative efforts with our partner agencies Ripple8 and Stratworks, which produced these amazing campaigns. After a 3-year hiatus from joining industry awards, we’re glad and thankful to be recognized once again for bringing joy and meaningful experiences to our customers through these campaigns."

About the Award-Winning Campaigns

Jollibee’s award-winning campaigns, such as "Sarap ng Pasko" and the Christmas Drive-Thru Experience, were centered around the joy of Filipino Christmas traditions and the spirit of giving. 

Launched for the 2022 holidays, Jollibee's "Sarap ng Pasko" campaign aimed to rekindle the joy of a Filipino Christmas following two years of pandemic-subdued celebrations. The integrated marketing communications plan was kicked off by a holiday-themed video commercial featuring the megabrand’s all-time favorites Chickenjoy, Jolly Spaghetti, and Burger Steak and exciting new products.

A special feature of the campaign entailed transforming one store’s Drive-Thru into a magical spectacle via Christmas lights and décor, adding to the festive experience. Finally, a special delivery promo also allowed customers to share in the holiday gift-giving spirit by donating group meals to underprivileged families. The campaign performed well, helping Jollibee reach top of mind awareness and delivered growth sales targets to cap the year on a high note.

In the winning Jollibee Chicken Sandwich campaign, the brand demonstrated expertise in influencer marketing, maximizing brand endorsers Donny Pangilinan and Belle Mariano, also known as DonBelle, and their respective followings to create buzz, awareness, and hype for the product.

The brand also revamped its award-winning Kwentong Jollibee films, introducing #MyKwentongJollibee – featuring real stories told by the real people behind the stories. It empowered people to tell their own Jollibee story in their own words. Its Mother’s Day film, Louder than Words, narrates a heart-warming tale of a mother’s love and sacrifice for her son who was diagnosed with Autism. Viewers will see how their shared love for Jollibee enables them to connect and bond better, and also witness the sacrifices she has done to support her son’s development. The film has garnered 20M plus views to date.

All these campaigns demonstrated Jollibee's innovative approach to marketing, blending emotional storytelling with effective PR and digital strategies, thus earning various recognitions in the 59th Anvil Awards.
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Company sees 42% subscription revenue growth in 2023 and the end of the year realizing the 66th quarter of consecutive ARR growth

subscription revenue growth

RELEX Solutions announced closing 2023 with remarkable growth across annual recurring revenue (ARR), customer net promoter score (NPS) satisfaction, and new customer signings. Overall, RELEX saw 42% year-over-year growth of reported subscription revenue in 2023, and in Q4 2023 realized its 66th quarter of consecutive ARR growth. This growth is attributed to new and expanded customer signings across the globe, as a variety of retailers and consumer goods companies recognize the deep value inherent in the company’s supply chain and retail planning solutions. RELEX delivers quick time to value, and has a flawless track record of successful implementations in the company’s decade-plus history. 

“The bedrock of our customer promise lies in delivering measurable, impactful results, very quickly. We stand by the premise of ‘doing what we say we’re going to do’ which not only instills trust, but confidence,” said Mikko Kärkkäinen, group CEO and co-founder, RELEX Solutions. “I’m very proud of our growth this year, which is directly attributed to the lasting relationships we form with customers from day one.”

In 2023, RELEX closed nearly 200 customer deals, of which 73 were net-new customers. Some of the new customers RELEX signed in 2023 included A.F. Blakemore & Son, bp, Casey’s, Fressnapf, Koala Furniture, Obramax, OXXO, PriceSmart, United Natural Foods, US Foods® CHEF’STORE™ and 7-Eleven Australia. RELEX also saw a 31% increase in customers that chose to expand their business with RELEX to capture additional business value in 2023, which speaks to the measurable results and value customers gain working with RELEX, as evidenced by a company-high NPS rating of 61 globally. The average NPS score for a SaaS company is 41; RELEX consistently scores well above the industry average each quarter. 

With the recent acquisition of Optimity, RELEX also welcomes 80+ customers across highly complex manufacturing and food and beverage industries including Blendwell, Bubbies Ice Cream, Vita Coco, and Finsbury. These customers join the roster of consumer goods companies at RELEX including Altia, Angulas Aguinaga, Atria, Hennig-Olsen, Maag Group, and Saarioinen, among others. Across retail, wholesale distribution, and manufacturing, RELEX currently has a portfolio of over 500 happy customers.
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917Ventures’ Fundspace offers Philippine MSMEs grappling with credit and funding issues new seamless digital-based solution

Tuesday, January 30, 2024


As fund sufficiency remains a major challenge for MSMEs, particularly in emerging markets, 917Ventures’s loan aggregator Fundspace is offering 

MSMEs and local entrepreneurs a swift, user-friendly, and easily accessible digital solution to bridge the financing gap in the Philippines.

“No one can deny the outsized impact of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). According to the United Nations Development Programme, these businesses contribute 40% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and employ 63% of the local workforce. Despite their substantial contributions, many MSMEs continue to be underfunded. This hinders the growth of these businesses, and in turn may hinder the growth of the economy,” said Martin Luchangco, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at 917Ventures.

Straightforward Application Process

FundSpace caters to enterprises of all sizes, ensuring easy access to the funding to ensure business growth and sustainability. It connects borrowers to different lending partners offering various loan products through an accessible mobile-friendly platform. 

Entrepreneurs can start their financing journey in four simple steps: 

1. Visit the FundSpace website
2. Specify the loan amount
3. Submit necessary business documents (such as Barangay and Mayor’s Permits, DTI Permits, valid IDs, and the latest three months bank statements), and; 
4. Wait for its dedicated account managers to get in touch. 
  • The platform has a quick 14-day loan approval timeline, a significant improvement over the typical 60-day timeline seen in traditional banks.

Together with its lender partners that include Alon Capital, iGlobal, Mt Fuji Lending, BPI Business Banking, First Circle, Zenith Capital, and Esquire, FundSpace provides loans from P5,000 to upwards of P100 million.

“It’s important to provide flexible loan amounts to better serve MSMEs across the board–from those who are just starting out, to those who want to aggressively grow their businesses,” Luchangco explained.

Since launch, FundSpace has facilitated loans across multiple businesses, including industries like retail, construction, food and beverage, services, and software industries, underscoring its position as a valuable partner of MSMEs, helping propel them toward sustainable growth and success.

Inclusive Access to All Types of Businesses

Data from the United Nations Development Program showed that more than half of MSMEs (67%) in the Philippines face challenges when it comes to securing funding. 

Many of these entrepreneurs rely on personal savings or loans from family and friends to start or expand their businesses, as banks and other financial institutions often subject entrepreneurs to a lengthy, tedious process, demanding extensive documentation. Rigid collateral requirements and high-interest rates pose additional barriers, limiting the accessibility of crucial financial resources and cost of business for these enterprises.

In response to these challenges, FundSpace was developed to simplify the borrowing process.

Features to look forward to

Beyond continuing to expand its loan offerings, FundSpace plans to launch a credit scoring feature later in the year. This feature is designed to streamline the application process for borrowers by reducing the required documentation. Simultaneously, for lenders, it will facilitate quicker assessments and enable the platform to deliver higher-quality leads. 

FundSpace's commitment to innovation not only enhances the user experience for borrowers but also strengthens the efficiency and effectiveness of the lending process for its valued network of financial partners.

"Empowering MSMEs with easy financial solutions is both an investment in their growth and in fostering economic resilience. By removing financial barriers for these enterprises we are contributing not only to their success but also to the sustainable development of communities and the Philippine economy,” Luchangco added.

Learn more about FundSpace by visiting fundspace.ph.
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Golden Visa Centrale Unveils Greek Golden Visa Program, Offering Filipinos Prime Investment Opportunities

Greek Golden Visa program


GVC’s new program provides Filipinos residency, investment, and wealth diversification prospects in scenic Greece

Golden Visa Centrale (GVC), a leading international property marketing consultancy specializing in residency by investment, has announced its latest offering tailored for Filipino investors looking for opportunities in Greece through its new Greek Golden Visa program. 

“Residency-by-investment programs have been getting traction for investors across the world, including the Philippines. These programs not only grant investors and their families the freedom to travel, to study, to work, but also offer opportunities for wealth diversification,” said Vicky Luis, President and Founder of GVC. 

Golden Visa is a residency-by-investment program that allows individuals and their families to obtain foreign residency or citizenship by meeting a minimum investment requirement indicated by the country’s government. It offers benefits like unrestricted travel and potential tax advantages. It is estimated that more than 130,000 people have obtained golden visas similar programs in European countries including Portugal, Greece, Italy, and Spain. Over 60 countries globally offer golden visa programs, with European countries including Portugal, Spain, and Greece being some of the most popular. 

GVC, established in 2019, successfully processed and facilitated hundreds of golden visa applications across various European countries and the U.S.

“Since 2019, we have seen the number of golden visa applications coming from the Philippines increase by at least 30% year-on-year, underscoring a growing trend of Filipinos seeking international residency and investment opportunities. We are excited to bring the Greek Golden Visa program to Filipino investors. This is a program perfect for those looking for profitable investments or those who want to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world,” Luis added.

Greek Golden Visa program

The Greek Golden Visa program which began in 2013, granted 31,000 golden visas in 2022, contributing €2.3 billion into the Greek economy. With an initial investment of €250,000, the program offers Filipinos an opportunity to invest in the vibrant city of Patra, the third-largest in Greece and a thriving university hub, located on the Pelopponese peninsula. The investment comes with a host of compelling benefits, annual income, including a five-year permanent residence visa, the possibility of reunification for up to three generations of family members, the convenience of remote application, visa-free travel within Schengen countries, one of the fastest processing times, and a no stay requirement.

“The program's appeal lies in its combination of a vibrant living experience and a reasonable investment threshold, making it a good choice for those seeking affordable and desirable residency opportunities,” explained Luis. "The Greek Golden Visa program, along with our other offerings, reflects our mission to offer clients the freedom to enjoy beautiful landscapes while actively contributing to the economic development of cities and countries worldwide."

Learn more about the Greek Golden Visa program by joining Golden Visa Centrale’s events on February 7, 5:30 p.m., Manila House, Taguig City; February 8, 11 a.m., Manila Polo Club, Makati City; and February 9, 9 a.m., Shangri-La at the Fort Horizon Lounge, Taguig City. Register your attendance by visiting bit.ly/GVC-Greece. For more information on GVC’s other offerings, visit https://goldenvisacentral.com/ or the GVC Facebook page.
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