Philippine media conglomerate creates GMA Ventures to invest in tech startups, sunrise sectors

Philippine media conglomerate GMA Network is setting up a holding company, GMA Ventures, Inc. (GVI), to identify and invest in tech startups within and outside of the Philippines, with an aim to tap into new markets and revenue streams.

As per a press statement, GVI will lead the GMA Group in identifying, investing in, and/or building strong and sustainable businesses.

GVI will focus on sunrise industries with substantial growth horizons and industries that continue to expand.

Aiming to be at the forefront of technology advancement and the growth of the digital economy, it will likewise engage in mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships, and fund investments.

In May, during the GMA’s annual stockholders’ meeting, the investors of GMA had approved to put in P25 million (~US$500,000) into GVI. According to its chairman and CEO Felipe L. Gozon, GVI will serve as its vehicle in investing in non-core or non-broadcasting business activities that may provide the company with additional revenues and profits.

Also Read: Philippines creating US$5M venture fund for local startups

“Following the successful roll-out of our digital TV products and a banner year in 2020, we are looking at surpassing our own achievements not just in terms of our main media business and content production. We are actively looking for ways to diversify the company’s portfolio by investing in sustainable businesses and, ultimately, providing the best returns to our shareholders in the years to come,” said Gozon.

GMA President and COO, and GVI’s Vice Chairman Gilberto R. Duavit, Jr. added: “While we tirelessly work on maintaining GMA’s leadership position within the industry, we also intend to further contribute to the growth of the Philippine economy as we protect and increase our shareholder value. GMA Ventures will be our arm in identifying other viable sources of revenue and future profit pools.”

“We now set our sights on making GMA one of the major conglomerates in the Philippines. We are taking this significant step to future-proof the Network, champion innovative industries and business models, and be at the forefront of technology advancement and the growth of the digital economy,” said GVI’s President and COO Regie C. Bautista who is also GMA’s Senior Vice President for Corporate Strategic Planning and Business Development, Chief Risk Officer, and Head for Program Support.

GMA Network, led by two of the richest people in the Philippines, became the leading broadcaster in the Philippines since the shutdown of its archrival ABS-CBN in May 2020 as the TV network failed to renew broadcast license with the government.

In March, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of the Philippines announced that it was creating a P250-million (US$50 million) venture fund aimed at investing in local startups. The fund is line with the Innovative Startup Act 2019 and is aimed at supporting product research and development, product manufacturing, sales, and marketing of startups.

Image Credit: GMA Network

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