Press Releases

Kickstart Ventures celebrates a decade of enabling startups; commits to expand investments globally

April 14, 2022

 MANILA, PH— Kickstart Ventures, one of the most active venture capital firms in the Philippines, celebrates its 10th anniversary with a renewed commitment to invest in startups across the Philippines, and in major innovation hubs in Southeast Asia and beyond.


The Philippine-based corporate venture capital firm also reveals a new bold look in line with its anniversary. The new Kickstart logo represents the evolved version of the company while maintaining its signature kite logo, which speaks to the aspirations of the company and its portfolio, rooted in an ambitious purpose and dynamic movement, rising against the winds.


Committing to enabling startups

When Kickstart was established in 2012, the Philippine startup ecosystem was at its nascent stage. Ambitious and promising startups abound, but none managed to scale as fast or as large as those in neighboring countries. This inspired its founders Minette Navarrete, Dan Siazon, and Christian Besler to pitch for a pioneering evergreen fund to the Globe board, starting with $2.5M on its first year. Their goal was to make seed investments in local tech startups to fill the funding gap and get better digital solutions across to consumers and enterprises.


Coming from that early start, Kickstart now manages two funds for Globe and advises the $180M Ayala Corporation Technology Innovation Venture (ACTIVE) Fund, the largest fund to come out of the Philippines. The ACTIVE Fund is anchored by Ayala Corporation, and counts the Bank of the Philippine Islands, AC Industrials, AC Energy, and Globe Telecom, as its LPs. Kickstart continues to invest out of its first fund with its mission to support the Philippine startup ecosystem, drive innovation, and enhance Filipino digital life as evidenced by its recent investments in kumu, edamama, and NextPay. Out of the ACTIVE Fund, it has invested in eight startups that represent the areas that the Ayala Group seeks to drive forward: new technology, emerging trends, and innovative business models that the Ayala Group believes in.


From being the single local conglomerate playing the Philippine VC space in 2012, there are now at least nine corporate groups in the scene, proving Kickstart’s founding team's belief that the VC and tech investments ecosystem is coming of age. Kickstart has happily co-invested with a number of these groups, along with other investors in the country and overseas.


With the growing recognition of its funds and investment track record, Kickstart will continue to support the Philippine startup ecosystem through its investments and community support while also seeking to make an impact on the global tech community.


"Our brand refresh is one of many initiatives to portray our evolution and communicate our mission of breaking barriers and building bridges through the expansive Ayala, Globe, and Singtel networks,” said Carla Samson, Corporate Communications Manager of Kickstart Ventures. "Our refreshed positioning leverages the strengths and values we’ve delivered over the years and displays the depth of our aspirations - be it in the funds we manage, the markets we have a presence in, or the industries we invest in.”


Taking flight in innovation hubs globally

While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many aspects of society, it has in turn accelerated digital adoption across businesses and consumers especially here in the Philippines. According to the 10-year old VC firm, the Philippine startup ecosystem will continue to flourish in the foreseeable future thanks to the arrival of the Filipino digital consumer who is expected to lead the boom of the Philippine internet economy to $40B in value by 2025 according to the e-Conomy SEA 2021 report.


Globally renowned VC firms like Andreesen Horowitz, Warburg Pincus, Insight Partners, General Atlantic, and SIG, have all made notable investments in Philippine startups in the past year and Kickstart anticipates that these investors and more will continue to take an interest in the Philippine market given the sustained adoption of Filipino consumers, the second largest consumer market in SEA, who see themselves purchasing goods and services digitally even post-pandemic.


As more investors take an interest in Philippine startups, Kickstart sees an opportunity to continue championing innovation for the Filipino consumer and business by expanding its search for tech startups in innovation hubs around the world particularly in the US, Europe, and across Asia. Kickstart Portfolio Operations Director, Bit Santos, explains, “We have a robust network that delivers data, alongside financial, industrial, and social capital, we see many opportunities for growth and expansion. We have a dedicated team to support our portfolio companies for business development, media relations, and community engagement. We aim to become the investment partner of choice for investors and startups looking to invest or expand in the Philippines as their entry point to the larger Southeast Asian region.”


“We will double down on our investments in industries where we believe we add the most value. These investments will be made in industries of interest in the near-term, like in the areas of digitalization and the creation of a more frictionless future; decarbonization through technologies that catalyze behavior change; and decentralization through the emergence of blockchain-powered ecosystems and use cases,” says Minette Navarrete, Kickstart’s President. “As we grow the size and capacity of our investment team, we will also increase our accessibility to startups through our various innovation and community partners in the Philippines and around the globe.”


Risks that reap rewards

At a time when Southeast Asia had no known digital companies or massive startup success, Kickstart envisioned a Philippines & SEA region where the founders’ greatest ambitions could take off, and where startups could achieve massive success within a community that is justifiably proud of its achievements. The last decade saw this vision coming to reality with 25 new unicorns emerging at a record pace in 2021 compared to only 21 unicorns prior to 2021. In the Philippines, deal volume and aggregate value have been on an upswing with the average quarterly deal value growing 37x in 2021 compared to 2019, and more local startups progressing into later stage rounds.


Kickstart also saw its own portfolio take off through successful value-creating exits which include, a mobile wallet acquired by Indonesian superapp Gojek in 2019, followed by Naver’s 2021 acquisition of Wattpad, an online social reading platform, and the most recent investment of Thailand’s True Digital Group in ZAP, the top rewards program provider in the Philippines and one of Kickstart’s inaugural batch of investments.


In the last two years, it has also seen two of its portfolio companies successfully reach unicorn status starting with San Francisco based Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud communication platform, and Xendit, a Southeast Asian leading payment gateway - riding on the back of megatrends on the future of work and the future of payments.


Like many Asian conglomerates, Kickstart’s LPs have begun adopting innovative solutions across a wide range of industrial processes, whether in telecoms, banking, real estate, energy, or manufacturing. The firm is optimistic about the future, one that is powered by technology to be more intelligent, efficient, sustainable, and equitable. It looks forward to creating more value for its LPs, partners, customers, and most especially for the startup community that continuously drives innovations for a better world.


As a part of the Globe Group, Kickstart supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly UN SDG No. 9, highlighting the roles of infrastructure and innovation as crucial drivers of economic growth and development. It is committed to upholding the UN Global Compact principles and contributing to 10 UN SDGs.


Coping with trauma: ‘You are not alone; we are all in this together’

July 7, 2021

Going through deeply distressing events such as forced isolation, losing a loved one, physical and verbal abuse, natural disasters, and other extraordinary experiences shatters our sense of security. These may leave us struggling with emotions that have long-term physical and mental effects on leading to trauma.

Recovering from trauma may take a while, but Dr. Gina A. Alfonso, Founder and Clinical Director of MAGIS Creative Spaces, assured those suffering from stressful circumstances that “You are not alone. We are all in this together.” 

Dr. Alfonso, a mental health clinician, who also experienced trauma herself in the past, was the resource speaker at Globe and the Department of Education (DepEd)’s TAYO! Naman! (Tulong, Alaga, Yakap at Oras para sa mga Tagapagtaguyod ng Edukasyon) webinar Episode 5: Healing from Past Hurts and Traumas. 

During the webinar, Dr. Alfonso enlightened teachers and non-teaching personnel about trauma -  what it is, how one responds to it, how it affects the brain, and different ways to recover from trauma. 

“What happens with trauma is sometimes we think it is just stored in our brain, but it is actually absorbed in our body. It affects our nervous system. Our nervous system goes on hyper-alert. We are experiencing life like it’s not safe. Everywhere we go, we feel like there’s danger kahit wala. That’s because our nervous system was affected by the incident. Ang importante is to be really aware. Ano kaya ang dahilan. Ano kaya ang practices na pwede kong gawin para ‘yung stress ng trauma mawala? It’s really about learning more about the nervous system,” Dr. Alfonso said. 

(Upper boxes) from L-R

·  Raffy Berina
Teacher 3  
EB Magalona National High School

·Dr. Gina A. Alfonso
Founder and Clinical Director
MAGIS Creative Spaces

·  Loje E. Lingco
Teacher 1
Pandan Elementary School
Pontevedra 2

(Lower boxes) from L-R  

·   Riezel Jane Batayola Sosas
Division Office of Negros Occidental

·  Cinderella F. Diancin
Teacher 1
Minoyan Elementary School

·   Angelito Gumawa Yanson jr.
Teacher 1
A. Maranon Elementary School

While everyone has their own traumatic experiences, she noted that these have different effects on each individual. Some people recover fast, and some do not. 

“We are all experiencing distress differently. What is most critical in our healing process is self-compassion and kindness towards ourselves and others, and a lot of patience—realizing that we are not alone. We can learn from others and their journeys. And that if we take care of ourselves, we will be better equipped to care for others,” she said.

During the ensuing panel discussion facilitated by Raffy Berina from EB Magalona National High School, Dr. Alfonso mentioned that trauma could also affect one’s cognitive ability. If a student is going through trauma, educators can help by practicing a socio-emotional approach. Self-compassion, kindness, and patience towards oneself and others are crucial to recovering from trauma.

“One of the things that is important when working with people who have had traumatic incident is to hold judgment and be compassionate. Second is to let them know nandito lang ako. Sometimes we don't need to give solutions,” she said. 

The speaker left the audience with the ABCD of trauma to guide them in coping with it.

A  -  Ask for help from somebody you trust to build a strong support system. 

B - Body doesn't lie. If your body needs something, pay attention.  Remember that our body and brain can heal. 

C - Compassion and patience to ourselves, our loved ones, and those we are working with are key to healing. 

D - Dance. Move. Engage in the arts and play. These are the best way to self-regulate, and when you’re consistent, you will see you're on your way to recovery. 

E - Every micro-step we make towards healing is important and worth celebrating.

TAYO Naman! is an online Mental Health and Psychosocial Support program designed to help teachers, non-teaching personnel, and parents learn about self-care, wellness, and resiliency.

The 14-part webinar series is led by the DepEd Disaster Risk Reduction Management Services (DepEd-DRRMS) and the Bureau of Human Resource and Organizational Development-Employee Welfare Division (BHROD-EWD) in collaboration with Globe’s Global Filipino Teachers Series on Psychosocial Support Services, Philippine Mental Health Association and Magis Creative Spaces.

The latest webinar featured panelists from the DepEd Division of Negros Occidental, namely, Angelito Yanson Jr. from Maranon Elementary School, Cinderella Diansin from Minoyan Elementary School, Loje Lingco from Pandan Elementary School, and Riezel Jan Sosas from the Division Office of Negros Occidental, 

The next episode on June 25 will be about “Resilience through Positive Psychology: Emerging and Keeping up from Adversities,” to be spearheaded by the DepEd Nueva Ecija Division.

The webinars are held every Friday until August 20 from 8:30 to 10:00 am and streamed live on DepED Philippines, Deped DRRMS, and Globe Bridgecom

Globe strongly supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals such as UN SGD No. 3 on good health and well-being and UN SDG No. 4 on inclusive and equitable quality education for all. The company is also committed to supporting the 10 United Nations Global Compact principles. 


To learn more about how to create a #GlobeofGood, visit

Nokia Launches New Phones In Cebu |

August 8, 2018

New line-up of Nokia phones arrives in Cebu. Enjoy the best real-life experiences with the Nokia 7 plus, Nokia 1, the New Nokia 6 and the Nokia 8110 4G.
HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, today confirms the arrival of the Nokia 7 plus, Nokia 1, New Nokia 6 and Nokia 8110 4G. First introduced at the Mobile World Congress in February earlier this year, these new Nokia phones will all be available in Cebu by mid-May.

Delivering on the promise of durability and reliability that Cebuanos have always expected from a Nokia phone, each new phone sets benchmarks in design and technology with beautiful craftsmanship and rich features.
Mr. Shannon Mead, Philippines Country Manager of HMD Global, said:
“HMD Global is proud to continue the story of Nokia mobile through the qualities that we first loved such as durability and innovation, designed to suit every need and style. As a key market, we are committed to building and strengthening our presence in Cebu. We are optimistic that with the new generation of Nokia Android smartphones and our classic but highly upgraded feature phone, the Cebuanos will get the best mobile experience across all price points.”

Expo Mom #TeamMom Reaches Out to Mommas in the Visayas

June 16, 2017

We are stronger together. That’s what moms have come to realize when faced with the multitude of issues and concerns that come with motherhood. When a mom has a group of mothers behind her, the business of taking care of the every day just seems easier. 

Licealiz Battling Lice Infestation Kilusang Kontra-Kuto

November 18, 2016

About one-third of the population of elementary public school students suffer from head lice infestation. Children are either teased, bullied, or ignored for having head lice which is often an excuse for them to miss school. And although parents try our best to comb our kids' hair with 'suyod' or 'sud' in bisaya, it is still not enough to ger rid of these lice and their eggs.

Go Basic with the Basics Collection from Zero Three Two

May 27, 2016

Great news to all fashionista moms out there!
The clamor for Basic for Zero Three Two basic shirts were heard.
The clothing and media company based in Cebu has released their Basics Collection and comes with four designs.

Love Organic. Choose Organic: Nayangu Personal Care Products

December 31, 2015

Mommsies, Recently I got this items from Nayangu.
I was really excited about this since I heard that they are Philippine made and all these items are 100% Organic. Read on to find out more of these amazing products!

Feminine spray

The best intimate feminine solution that is formulated with lavender infused in a gentle cleaner mixed with a zest of mint giving way for a cool, clean and fresh feeling all day. Experience a practical feminine leave-on sanitizing product that comes very handy especially during red seasons.

INGREDIENTS: lavender, peppermint , lemongrass hydrosol, menthol, virgin coconut oil, vitamin E, natural solubilizer, distilled water


Must-try. Perfect for women on the go, just one spray for that fresh feeling down there. Smells so much like lavender and a slight odor of mint.

Hand spray

Protect yourself at all times with a spray-on hand sanitizer that helps prevent sweaty palms. Made from plant extracts suspended in lemongrass hydrosol water, Handshake has a gentle cleaner with a high wetting power allowing it to be absorbed through the folds of our hands.

INGREDIENTS: oil extracts of lemongrass, sweet orange, green tea and calamansi, lemongrass hydrosol, vitamin E, virgin coconut oil, natural solubilizer, distilled water

I like using this spray when I am out especially during my trips to the hospital for prenatal check-up.
It has that refreshing feel upon application plus it smells good too! I find that it is easily absorbed by my hands.... 
Highly-recommended product!

Foot spray

Regulate sweating and ultimately get rid of germs, fungi and bacteria. It effectively takes away the odor within minutes of spraying. It even works well on hard to reach skin and in between toes. Uniquely blended with natural essential oils, experience freedom and keep your feet sanitized and fresh all day.
INGREDIENTS: bamboo grass extract, lemongrass, green tea, peppermint and calamansi essential oils, lemongrass and citronella hydrosols, menthol, vitamin E, virgin coconut oil, natural solubilizer, distilled water

Definitely a must try product, just one spray and you're good to go. Keeps you feet fresh all day.


Get caught in tight situations without ever feeling conscious. Feel liberated as you can freely express yourself knowing that your daily protection keeps germs, bacteria and fungi away. This spray-on deo has all natural ingredients keeping you fresh all day, everyday.

INGREDIENTS: bamboo grass extract, lemongrass, green tea, peppermint and calamansi essential oils, lemongrass and citronella hydrosols, menthol, vitamin E, virgin coconut oil, natural solubilizer, distilled water

This product smells citrusy to me. It has a slightly stinging sensation too after spraying on my underarms which to me is refreshing. I love this product that I use it almost everyday. The Cons to this is that I have to reapply again after in the afternoon for a much longer effect. I highly recommend this product. 

Masculine spray
Who says it’s only for women? Men can also stay clean and fresh with a personal care product that not only helps prevent itchiness and rashes caused by dryness on intimate areas – an on-the-go natural treatment ideal for active men keen on staying clean and fresh.
INGREDIENTS: sandalwood, bamboo extract, peppermint , lemongrass hydrosol, menthol, virgin coconut oil, vitamin E, natural solubilizer, distilled water

Must try for men. Smells odor of wood, perfect for travelling and when outdoors just one spray and you get that fresh and clean feel.

Mouth spray
Feel confident and enjoy relaxing conversations without having to worry if you’re breath is starting to make an embarrassment out of you. Breathe easy and keep feeling refreshed all day with a handy, alcohol free mouth spray laced with stevia and xylitol.
INGREDIENTS: peppermint , spearmint, lemongrass hydrosol, stevia, xylitol, virgin coconut oil, vitamin E, natural solubilizer, distilled water

Perfect for dates, and when on intimate conversations with friends, colleagues or special someone. These product is a must have. Start refreshing with just one spray.


ZAP is an all-natural, organic insect repellent that effectively protects your family against Aedes aegypti (dengue) mosquitoes and other pests without toxic chemicals like deet (N,N-diethyl-3- methylbenzamide). deet is the most commonly studied repellent available in the market. However, deet can cause mild to severe irritation and toxic reactions, especially in children.


I love using this product. It has the smell of herbs much that of the ones I used for my baby (acete mansanella) odor to it. It appears as liquid sort of lotion. I haven't used it for my son though as it may cause him allergies, he is allergic so I am gonna use it instead. Must try especially when out camping outdoors or travelling with friends and family.


Discover Mott's 100% Apple Juice Goodness

December 16, 2015

Yes, an apple a day does keep the doctor away! The apple, that shiny, beautiful red fruit which teased its way into Eve's heart and lured Snow White into an enchanting sleep, is packed with all sorts of nutritional benefits. Not only does it boost your immune system, it also cleanses your liver, prevents cataracts, controls weight, and contributes to a healthy heart.(1) It's no wonder then that the folks over at Mott's love working with this luscious fruit!

It all started with S.R. Mott, who has been growing apples in New York since 1842. Using techniques he learned from his grandfather, Mott perfected advanced pasteurization and filtration techniques at his mill, resulting in the popularity of his products.

Mott's 100% Original Apple Juice offers nurturing goodness for the entire family. 

It's not only great-tasting and nutritious, it is also rooted in the fine tradition of making the most of the goodness of the lovely apple. Through the years, Mott's has proven to be the expert when it comes to apples by offering delicious products of consistently high quality. Generations of mothers have trusted Mott's for its venerable heritage.

Every eight-ounce serving of Mott's 100% Original Apple Juice provides your family with two servings of fruit and 120% Daily Value Vitamin C. That's not just 100% juice, that's also 100% delicious!

Apple juice is great in so many healthy ways. Just one serving of apple juice already gives your body a nice boost of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It's got vitamin C and polyphenol antioxidants which work to improve your overall health and well-being. It also has loads of potassium to keep your heart healthy and strong.
Mott’s 100% Apple Juice: Mott's 100% Original Apple Juice comes in two sizes, 32oz and 64 oz

 There are a string of other benefits to drinking apple juice:
1.   Protects the heart: Because of the antioxidant flavonoids and phytonutrients in apple juice, drinking apple juice helps lower the risk of heart disease.

2.  Goodbye asthma: Because apple juice is so high in antioxidants, it can very well help prevent asthma attacks. A study has shown that apple consumption has been associated with decreased risk of asthma.
3. Prevents cancer: Apple juice not only has antioxidant activity, it also has antimutageniccharacteristics, anti-inflammatory mechanisms, and immunity features, among others. All these help reduce the risk of cancer. 

4.  Improves memory: A new study shows drinking apple juice may improve memory. By preventing the decline of an essential neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine, drinking apple juice may help improve one's memory. 

5. Helps fight Alzheimer's Disease: Antioxidant-rich apple juice may also reduce problems associated with memory loss and help fight Alzheimer's disease.

Perky Pancakes and Popcorn Clusters 

Mott's Brand Ambassador
Mommy Mundo Founder Janice Crisostomo - Villanueva 

Chesire Que, RN

Philippine and USA Registered Dietitian-Nurtritionist


Samsung Happy Home Roadshow Hits Cebu

November 18, 2015

The Bautista family showed how they enjoy the many conveniences at home made possible by Samsung products. Samsung presented their products in a fun way through a short drama that portrays a typical Filipino family who's just upgraded their home with Samsung's latest appliances.
Last November 10, Samsung Happy Home Roadshow finally hit the shores of the Queen City of the South. Cebu Bloggers Society were invited to grace the event held at Ayala Center Cebu Activity Center. I was grateful to be a part of it I was filled with amazement with their products for the family and the home.
This family experience was showcased during Samsung Happy Home roadshow featuring Samsung’s range of new products, including Television, Home Entertainment Solutions, and Digital Appliances. The roadshow kicked off in Manila last August and was followed by Mindanao leg in Davao and Cagayan de Oro and Visayas leg in Bacolod. On their fifth run, Samsung Happy Home roadshow went to Ayala Center in Cebu and will continue in key cities such as Naga and Iloilo throughout the year, letting more families see how Samsung could help them create a happy home.

Smart offers iPhone 6s FREE at Plan 2000

November 10, 2015

Hi Mommsies!

I am not really into tech but when I found out that Smart Communications has announced their new iPhone plans, I can't help but be thrilled. Although I am really frugal when it comes to splurging on smart phones I think that this offer from Smart is already sulit! Get ready to experience the Smart Life with Super-Sized Data offers.

SMART Communications has announced its unbeatable plans for the much anticipated iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, the most advanced iPhones ever, with supersized data offers and awesome perks aimed at giving you the Smart Life Experience.
Rose Gold looks fab!
Wait there's more!
As a special offer from November 6 until December 31, you can get the iPhone 6s FREE on Plan 2000 under a 30-month contract, inclusive of a super-sized 10GB data allowance for all your videos, music and games; plus All-Month Surf, which gives you access to all your favorite websites and apps like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and chat apps like Viber, Whatsapp, Line and Messenger, among many others, throughout the 30-month period.
As part of the limited offer, you can also get the iPhone 6s Plus FREE on Plan 2499 under a 30-month term, inclusive of super-sized 15GB data allowance and All-Month Surf which you can enjoy throughout the duration of the contract. 
Smart is offering FREE iPhone with NO CASHOUT for the iPhone 6s for Plan 2000 and iPhone 6s Plus for 2499. The 10GB of data for Plan 2000 and 15 GB of data for Plan 2499 for 24 months are allocated for subscribers who will avail of the plans.

What's in store?

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