Indonesian ride-hailing firm Go-Jek, recently valued at more than $9 billion, acquired the Philippines-based Coins.ph mobile wallet for $95 million, according to a Pantera Capital investor note viewed by The Block. Coins.ph provides a blockchain-based remittance solution, P2P money transfer into the Philippines and other financial services to 5 million users, or 10% of the adult Philippines population.
Coins.ph, founded in 2014, has a history of being a cryptocurrency pioneer in Southeast Asia, as the first firm to be regulated in the region as a Virtual Currency Exchange and Electric Money Issuer (e-wallet.) It was also the first virtual currency provider licensed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Other large investors in Coins.ph included Digital Currency Group and Naspers.
According to Pantera Capital:
77% of Filipinos do not have bank accounts and there is less than 3% penetration of credit cards. Coins.ph . provides customers with a solution to buy prepaid mobile top-ups, pay bills, buy game credit, and send or receive funds to and from the Philippines and abroad. Consequently, the Philippines is an ideal Blockchain foothold in that it enables disruptively low-fee remittances for a country with one of the highest work emigration rates and unbanked population. Coins.ph aspires to provide 650 million people in Southeast Asia with direct access to financial services.
The acquisition comes as Go-Jek battles fellow ride-hailing giant Grab, currently valued above $10 billion, for supremacy in the Southeast Asia region.