Filipino-led fintech makes it to Techstars-Western Union Accelerator Class ’20

/ 09:29 AM August 24, 2020

Plentina, an alternative credit scoring and digital financial services startup, has been accepted into the 2020 class for the Techstars and Western Union Accelerator, one of the top global startup accelerators focused on financial services access and tools that drive global financial inclusion.

Plentina has been busy since its incorporation last year, developing its credit scoring algorithms and obtaining its lending license from the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission in April 2020.

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Kevin Gabayan (left) and Earl Valencia (right) were classmates at Stanford 13 years ago and now co-founders of fintech start-up Plentina. CONTRIBUTED

“We’re working to create financial opportunities to enable everyone’s greatest potential. Everyone on our team is passionate about improving livelihoods and economic growth in emerging markets. We’re thrilled to be focusing valley talent and resources on impacting the world’s emerging middle class,” said founder, Kevin Gabayan.

Plentina is the first Filipino-led startup to participate in the Techstars Western Union accelerator, with co-founders Kevin Gabayan as CEO and Earl Valencia as Chief Business Officer. Plentina is one of 10 startups accepted from a competitive field of global applicants and the only company in the 2020 class operating in Southeast Asia. Gabayan and Valencia were classmates at Stanford University, leaving high profile corporate jobs at Google and Charles Schwab in Silicon Valley to start Plentina.

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“We are elated to be a part of this year’s Techstars Western Union accelerator class. We believe a digital data-first financial service infrastructure can unlock opportunities for millions of Filipinos who want a better experience,” said Valencia.

“We needed to address the injustice that most people in emerging markets lack access to formal financial services. We can help our customers and partners benefit from a more inclusive financial system,” Valencia adds.

This is the second year Western Union, a cross-border and cross-currency money movement leader, and Techstars, the global platform for investment and innovation, have joined forces for the accelerator. With the theme this year being Access, the program is focused on creating and unlocking financial opportunities for a more equitable and inclusive financial system. Startups from Europe, Africa, West Asia, and the United States join Plentina in the 2020 class.

“While we recognize that there is much work yet to be done stand proudly with everyone who is fighting for a fairer, more equitable system,” said Ethan Austin, Managing Director of the program.

“The Western Union team is tremendously impressed with this diverse group of founders and entrepreneurs who are actively addressing challenges across the financial services ecosystem,” said Western Union President of Product and Platform, Shelly Swanback. “I am confident that the breadth of perspective, experience and technologies represented in this year’s portfolio will drive us to be even more disruptive as we endeavor to develop more inclusive financial services and payment technologies in a rapidly changing global economy.”

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TAGS: financial technology, Plentina, Techstars-Western Union Accelerator Class '20
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