PLDT’s US-based venture capital arm invests USD10-M in mobile platform company

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Oct. 7 (PNA) — The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) through its US-based venture capital arm, PLDT Capital has invested USD 10-million in a mobile platform company Phunware to market and exclusively distribute Phunware’s targeted mobile and multiscreen solutions in Southeast Asia.

In a statement on Wednesday, PLDT said that the joint venture will enable PLDT’s subsidiary ePLDT to provide Phunware’s pioneering Multiscreen as a Service (MaaS) platform to its customers.

Phunware currently supports more than 500 million monthly unique users globally on its multiscreen cloud platform, including branded application portfolios and infrastructure for hundreds of enterprise customers across more than 40 billion indoor and outdoor user events.

Its list of top-tier customers includes CBS Interactive, NBC Sports, Dignity Health, GameStop, Mandarin Oriental and WWE amongst many others.

PLDT Capital Managing Director and Chief Strategy Officer Winston Damarillo welcomed the telco’s latest development noting that Filipino and ASEAN consumers are among the most engaged users of mobile and digital services in the world.

“We see mobile phones as an essential part of our daily lives and expect new experiences to pique our digital curiosity,” Damarillo said.

“The partnership of the PLDT Group and Phunware will also enable our corporate and SME clients to address the growing needs and appetites of their digital consumers,” he added.

Phunware Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Alan S. Knitowski for his part highlighted the value of Phunware’s partnership with PLDT.

“With more than 70 million subscribers, PLDT instantly provides a large base of audiences and communities that will enjoy new and unprecedented levels of real-time engagement both indoors and outdoors across their favorite brands and venues,” Knitowski said.

“At the same time, we look forward to expanding PLDT’s product portfolio,” he added.

ePLDT CEO and PLDT EVP Eric Alberto said the joint venture will provide an edge for companies that do business in retail, travel, hospitality and real estate.

“ePLDT is constantly seeking ways to provide strategic digital advantages for our customers,” Alberto said.

“Phunware’s market ready solutions – together with our other digital solution sets in the domains of Data Center, Cloud and Big Data – will enable ePLDT to accelerate the ongoing digital transformation of large enterprises and small and medium-sized businesses,” he added.

ePLDT-Phunware services are set to launch within two months. (PNA)