Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, PLDT, and German ecommerce giant Rocket Internet have formed a global Joint Venture (JV) for payment services with a focus on emerging markets, with each partner holding a 50 percent stake. August last year, PLDT has invested a 10 percent stake in Rocket Internet for USD$445 million.
The partnership will drive online and mobile payment solutions in target markets and will combine key existing payment assets from both PLDT/Smart e-Money and Rocket. The JV is said to leverage Rocket’s network of online companies in more than 100 countries and PLDT's pioneering mobile payments platform. PLDT will contribute the intellectual property, platforms and business operations of its Smart e-Money mobile-first payment platform, a pioneer in mobile banking and mobile wallet services which has handled transactions valued at approximately EUR 3.4 billion in 2013. At the same time, Rocket will leverage Paymill Holding and Payleven Holding, two of the leading payment platforms for high growth, small-and-medium-sized e-commerce businesses across Europe.
Napoleon L. Nazareno, President and CEO of PLDT
PLDT continues to build on its strategy to become a driving force in the digital economy, and with Rocket, we have a partner who understands the DNA of the global Internet market more than any other company. We look forward to continuing the long-term success story of Smart Money and optimizing the synergies between e-commerce and innovative mobile-first payment solutions.
Oliver Samwer, Founder and CEO of Rocket Internet
This Joint Venture is the next logical step of our valuable partnership with PLDT and we are pleased that our shared vision for the growth opportunities of the global payment market has been implemented in such an expedited fashion. Rocket’s network of companies combined with PLDT’s 14 years of experience in the mobile payment industry will allow us to deliver world-class innovations in mobile money and micro-payments around the world.