Businesses Moving to Manila: German start-ups expanding to the Philippines

Berlin is the start-up hub of Europe, and the Germans are bringing in their business to Manila. It is no secret that the start-up scene in the Philippines is booming with entrepreneurs now thinking in a more global scale. Why?

The Philippines has been mentioned multiple times as one of the emerging markets to watch out for, and as an investment hotspot in Asia. Despite the Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) that devastated the country late last year, the economic growth still rose from an already impressive 6.8 to 7.2 percent. The country’s foreign direct investment has doubled to $2.8 billion between 2008 and2012.

handshake on Philippines map flag illustration

International start-ups looking to for the next place to expand to are looking at these numbers, and joining the ride in the growth of the Philippine economy. Multiple ones are originally based in Germany and/or were founder by German venture capitalists.

Zalora (http://www.zalora.com.ph/)

Zalora quickly became one of the most known online fashion stores in the country. With products ranging from apparel to beauty products, and featuring brands with both physical (stores) and non- physical presence, Zalora has made a web-based one-stop shop for fashion-holics.

Zalora began as a Rocket Internet venture. Based on Rocket Internet’s famous, as well as controversial business model, which is to take successful web-based ventures, replicate them, then launch them in emerging markets, the Berlin based start-up incubator did just that, and Zaloralaunched in the Philippines last November 2011.

Lamudi (http://lamudi.com.ph/)

Not surprisingly another Rocket Internet venture, Lamudi isa web-based company, although this time, it is not shopping for clothes, but for real estate. It is a property finder that provides a secure platform for both agents and buyers.

With everything being searchable on the Internet, properties for rent or sale are not outliers to this, and the convenience and ability to find multiple options in a shorter span of time is the backbone of Lamudi’s vision for the future of the real estate industry.

Backed by a €5 million investment for Asia by the Tengelmann Group – a German holding company, and now listing 29,000 properties, 20,158 to buy and 8,842 for rent, Lamudi Philippines was launched in February 2014.

Co-founded by Paul Hermann, Antonius Salis, Kian Moini, andStefan Haubold, Lamudi lists available properties from houses and condominiums to land and commercial spaces for development to even islands for sale. Their head office is located in Berlin, Germany.

Coins (https://coins.ph/)

Bitcoins are a form of crypto currency, which is a newly developed cyber currency that is gaining ground with fans and critics alike all over the world. The way it works is through a peer-to-peer system bypassing the traditional methods of money transfer. What this means is that digital money is exchanged directly (and faster) between people via the Internet.

Not formally considered a currency, it is already being used like it is one, and is called the future currency of the Internet. It is an absolute cashless monetary movement in the World Wide Web.

Coins.ph buys and sells bitcoins – “including those who do not have access to credit cards of bank accounts”, which stands at 95 million Filipinos.

Brought to the Philippines by Ron Hose and RunarPetursson, coins.ph has not only penetrated the Metro Manila market, but the Cebu market as well.

Bitcoins currently stands at 19.568 PHP (buy) and 19.168 PHP (sell). For those who still worry about this currency turning into Mickey Mouse money, coins.ph lets you convert your bitcoins into cash payouts in any CebuanaLhuillierPeraPadala and LBC Peso Padala branches.

For those with bank accounts, bitcoins can be deposited as cash in the following banks that have partnered with coins.ph: BPI, BDO, Union Bank, China Bank, RCBC, MetroBank, PNB, Standard Chartered, EastWest Bank, Planters Development Bank, MayBank, Landbank, and Citibank.

Image Credits:
© Stephen Finn – Fotolia.com

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