Philippine boxing champion, senator, and now startup investor Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao fully funded the seed round of a local car rental platform startup called Graventure last April 7.
Lawyer Brando Viernesto, Pacquiao’s legal counsel, confirmed the news in a phone interview with Entrepreneur Philippines and said this is Pacquiao’s first investment in the Philippine tech startup scene.
Aside from being an investor, Pacquiao also joined the company as its official endorser. Just last month, Pacquiao also became the celebrity ambassador for Global Crypto Offering Exchange (GCOX), a virtual currency startup based in Singapore.
“I like that Graventure will solve a problem that will help many Filipinos in Manila and across the country. They will be able to find and rent a car much more easily, and that’s important. They can now focus on going places instead of surfing the web all day,” said Pacquiao in a press statement released by Graventure on Wednesday, April 11.
Founded in late 2017, Graventure aims to simplify and automate the process of renting a car in the country by connecting car owners and car rental agencies to car renters through both web and mobile platforms. It is set to fully launch nationwide on the third quarter of this year.
“Renting out even a single car before was a chore, but through Graventure, it will be easy to manage the rental of even multiple vehicles or a large fleet,” Graventure Managing Director and co-founder Gracy Fernandez said in a statement.
“Just as how many Filipinos have earned extra income by renting out their properties, I ultimately hope that more of us will be able to create a profitable business through Graventure,” Fernandez added, who has been in the car rental business for several years now.
The mobile app and online platforms of Graventure are still currently under development. The company is planning to do beta testing while waiting for the development of its platform. The beta testing is targeted to launch by the second quarter of 2018, said Fernandez, and they are now starting to build up their inventory through a closed Facebook group.
“Graventure will be an end-to-end solution for both sides of the marketplace. Car renters will be able to find, book, and pay for the car that’s just right for them, while car providers will be able to post listings, manage bookings, and process payments to more efficiently manage what is essentially their small business,” said Kaiser Dapar, Graventure co-founder and leader of the ongoing development of Graventure’s mobile app and online platform.
Pauline Macaraeg is Entrepreneur PH's data journalist