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PLDT invests $10m in mobile app firm

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., through newly formed unit PLDT Capital, has invested $10 million in Phunware, a US-based mobile services and application company.

The new partnership will enable PLDT’s subsidiary, ePLDT, to market and exclusively distribute Phunware’s targeted mobile and multiscreen solutions in Southeast Asia.

Phunware, through its pioneering multiscreen as a service platform, gives companies everything they need to engage seamlessly with their customers through mobile devices, from indoor and outdoor location-based marketing and advertising to content management, notifications and analytics, to indoor mapping, navigation and wayfinding.

This is the first investment of PLDT Capital since it was formed last month, which aims to connect the PLDT Group of companies with leading firms in Silicon Valley and around the world.

PLDT Capital has an initial budget of $50 million to support PLDT business units, which include Smart, ePLDT, Digital5 and Voyage.

“Filipino and Asean consumers are among the most engaged users of mobile and digital services in the world,” Winston Damarillo, managing director of PLDT Capital and chief strategy officer of PLDT said.

“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 its  corporate and SME clients to address the growing needs and appetites of their digital consumers,” Damarillo said.

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.

Phunware’s impressive list of top-tier customers includes CBS Interactive, NBC Sports, Dignity Health, GameStop, Mandarin Oriental and WWE.

“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. At the same time, we look forward to expanding PLDT’s product portfolio,” Alan Knitowski, Phunware chairman, chief executive and co-founder said.

Eric Alberto, ePLDT chief executive and PLDT executive vice president, said the joint venture would 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,” he 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,” Alberto said. The ePLDT-Phunware services are set to launch within the next 90 days.

Topics: PLDT Capital , Investment , Phunware , Eric Alberto , mobile and multiscreen solutions
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