PH startups shift focus to profitability

By Kris Crismundo

January 18, 2024, 7:41 pm

<p><em>(Courtesy of Uniquecorn Strategies)</em></p>

(Courtesy of Uniquecorn Strategies)

MANILA – Filipino startups are shifting their focus from pushing for the expansion of their businesses to gaining more profit this year, Uniquecorn Strategies’ 2024 Philippine Startups Outlook showed.

This shift was driven by the 40-percent drop in investments in local startups last year, according to a report by Gobi-Core Philippine Fund.

The 2024 Philippine Startups Outlook showed that 75 percent of startup founders prioritize profitability over growth this year.

Founders are aiming to be financially secured this year for them to lessen their dependency on investor funding, the report said.

“While the immediate challenges in funding and valuation are evident, the founders' focus on profitability and expansion indicates a proactive approach to navigating the complexities of the current economic climate,” Uniquecorn Strategies founder and chief executive officer Dean Bernales said in a statement Thursday.

"The pandemic's lingering economic impact continues to shape strategic decisions, with founders navigating a tightrope between growth aspirations and the harsh realities of funding. As 2024 unfolds, the Filipino startup ecosystem shows signs of balancing immediate pressures with long-term strategic goals,” Bernales added.

Among the surveyed founders, 55 percent projected that they will be profitable one to two years from now, 20 percent said they are already gaining profit, 10 percent are expecting to be profitable this year, and 15 percent said they will start to gain profit in four to three years.

Aside from profitability, the top priorities of startups this year include improving customer experience, improving product, better product-market fit, improving technology, enhancing talent, fundraising, growing customer base, and partnerships.

On the other hand, founders also considered profitability as a top challenge for their enterprises, followed by raising funds, hiring good talent, competition, retaining customers, adapting to the regulatory environment, generating demand, adapting to economic or business conditions, accessing relevant networks or investors, ensuring market readiness, and expansion. (PNA)