MANILA - Global investment firm KKR is investing $45 million (P2.3 billion) in local tech startup GrowSari which aims to digitalize small businesses like sari-sari stores, GrowSari said on Wednesday.
KKR's investment is part of the recent Series C fundraising activity and the definitive agreements were signed on Feb. 9, the company said.
“We are pleased to invest in GrowSari, an innovative company with tremendous potential to digitally transform the operations of Filipino MSMEs, who are crucial contributors to the country’s economy and a pillar of the business community," KKR Co-Head of Asia Pacific Private Equity and Southeast Asia Head Ashish Shastry said.
Proceeds from the activity will support the company's nationwide expansion this year, GrowSari CEO and co-founder Reymund Rollan said.
“We will be accelerating our presence nationally to more municipalities and cities in the Philippines. Our investments will be focused towards expanding in Visayas and Mindanao this 2022," Rollan said.
The company said it now covers about 220 municipalities in Luzon.
"This will bring us a step closer to our mission of creating a positive socio-economic impact on the lives of more MSME owners and the communities they serve," he added.
GrowSari said it is helping MSMEs such as sari-sari stores, carinderias and pharmacies by providing small businesses access to more products, streamlining the supply chain process, and allowing MSMEs to provide digital services. It also offers services such as bill payments, telco reloading and wallet top-ups.
The company said it had previously raised funding from Temasek-affiliated Pavilion Capital, Tencent, the International Finance Corporation, and the Gokongwei's JG Summit.