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Manila Innovation Hub Launchgarage to raise maiden VC fund next year

Manila Innovation Hub Launchgarage is planning to take on the role of a venture capital as it is looking to raise a US$5 to US$10 million investment by the third quarter of 2018.

Fam Alonto, the Advisory Head of Launchgarage Ventures said the new vehicle is a strategy to address the seed gap and it will primarily invest in fintech, agritech, aquatech, and BPO enterprise software applications.

“Once you graduated from a seed stage, there’s a huge gap in funding. And we want to address that, not just at Launchgarage but as a community in general, because there are a lot of startups that couldn’t continue,” Alonto explained.

Besides, another issue faced by businesses in the Philippines is its regulations. Take an example, registering a business in OECD countries may take an average of 8 business days, but in the Philippines, it can take up to 28 days to complete the process.

On the other hand, the country’s ease of doing business index has maintained at the 99th place on the global index while Indonesia has improved its rank from 108 in 2015 to 91 in 2016.

Jojo Flores, the co-founder of Launchgarage and Silicon Valley-based innovation platform Plug and Play Tech Center said, ““I think that these are the growth verticals where the Philippines can have a global play.”

“We need to unleash some of this wealth into our startups. We need local validation before we can really attract foreign investors and customers,” Flores said.

Launched in 2012, Launchgarage is a startup acceleration program established by Filipino early stage investment player Kickstart Ventures, and local applications engineering firm Proudcloud.

The company operates a tech innovation hub in Manila that provides a venue for open collaboration, knowledge sharing, and events. Its portfolio of companies includes Tralulu, Good Meal Hunting, PaidUp, and Mober, among some.

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