Globe Telecom Inc. is pivoting away from its core business to become a digital solutions platform over the next five to 10 years, President and CEO Ernest Cu announced in the recent Makati Business Club virtual forum.
To keep in pace with the speed of consumer digital adoption, the company is going beyond telco, exploring adjacent business space, from healthtech, fintech, adtech, and e-commerce.
“We use telco as the platform to create new businesses,” he explained.
Hence, “Globe, five years or maybe even ten years from now, will be a digital platform.”
“This is very similar to what Google has done, where they used their search (engine) as a basis to create new businesses, what companies like Grab has done, where they used their ride-hailing app to create new businesses,” Cu elaborated.
One of Globe’s businesses created to leverage the firm’s assets and expertise was GCash.
Now, the e-wallet has over 48 million registered users, three million digital touchpoints, 69,000 cash-in and cash-out agents, and 700 billers.
GCash remains on track to triple its gross transactions handled to P3 trillion this year from about P1 trillion last year.
It is a first mover and the only mobile wallet with a full suite of accessible financial services, according to Cu.
“Our objective is to create this flywheel that keeps spinning faster and faster, creating new businesses,” he noted.
“If you can create a large GCash business, which is the only Philippine dollar unicorn out of the telco business, imagine the third business that we create with the help of both Globe and GCash.
Globe has over 81 million mobile subscribers, and GCash has 48 million,” Cu underscored.
Aside from GCash, other portfolio companies under Globe’s corporate builder 917Ventures include telehealth service platforms KonsultaMD and HealthNow, a digital and mobile marketing solutions firm.
It also has adtech company AdSpark, loyalty, and e-commerce solutions provider RUSH, and online grocery shopping platform PureGo.
Innovations under 917Ventures are online learning platform Edventure, marketplace fanlife, online study-now-pay-later bootcamp KodeGo, A2P messaging platform M360, online seller platform BentaTV, and self-service dashboard iNQUiRO.
Globe also continues to scale up its information technology solutions and services through multi-payment platform Electronic Commerce Payments Inc. (ECPay) that aims to onboard 70,000 general trade retailers this year.
Globe’s corporate venture capital arm, Kickstart Ventures, now has $240 million aggregate assets under management from $2.4 million in 2012, focusing on among others, media, content and advertising, healthtech, and logistics tech.
To support the connectivity needs of businesses and the public, Globe has earmarked P76 billion for its capital expenditures this year.
This allowed the company to put up 641 new cell towers, upgrade 8,175 mobile sites, build 1,906 5G sites nationwide as of end-September, and lay down over one million high-speed broadband lines to date.