BUSINESS NEWS | e-commerce

Packworks wins IGNITE Pitch Competition, to represent PH at the 2023 Startup World Cup in Silicon Valley

By ICON Executive Asia
Published October 19, 2022

Packworks bagged the top spot in the Philippine leg of the Startup World Cup (SWC) during the regional Wildfire pitch competition at the IGNITE 2022 FUSION's hybrid conference. As the winner, the retail tech startup gained the right to represent the country and vie for the $1 million grand prize in the 2023 SWC Grand Finale organized by Pegasus Tech Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based global venture capital firm. 

"It's truly an honor to represent the Philippines for the 2023 Startup World Cup Grand Finale in San Francisco. The pitch is just a summary of the mission we have set out to do. We plan to continue uplifting the lives of our sari-preneurs all over the Philippines by providing them with the right tools to transform challenges into opportunities. By December next year, we aim to be in at least 350,000 sari-sari stores nationwide," said Packworks CEO Bing Tan.  

Packworks bested nine other early-stage startup finalists in the competition. Sharing the podium were runners-up Smile API, a digital platform that fast-tracks financial application processes, and, which provides worker benefits like healthcare to freelancers and solopreneurs.

"We think the key differentiator for Packworks is what we stand for. We are solving a massive issue and we want to create a sustainable and inclusive model of commerce for the 1.3 million sari-sari stores in the country. People must understand that solving the inclusion problem for sari-sari stores means solving the problems of the brand owners and their distributors. We cannot fix this problem by only solving one of the links; that's why it's called a supply chain," Tan shared.

Founded in 2018, Packworks offers a business-to-business platform for community-based micro-retailers or sari-sari stores and empowers them with financial literacy through an integrated mobile app ecosystem called "Super Sari Store App."

Through the app, store owners can process their business' inventory, bookkeeping, and data collection. They can also avail of financial products and order supplies for a cheaper price without the hassle of coordinating and purchasing new stocks.

Apart from participating in the SWC x Ignite Wildfire pitch competition, Packworks also recently launched its new data analytics platform, Sari IQ, at DigiCon Valley 2022. 

"For our Sari IQ, we are also securing a partnership with a research group so we can provide a comprehensive analysis and insights with our ready data from 200,000 geotagged sari-sari stores," said Tan.

Tan also shared that they are also planning to launch more projects for sari-preneurs. "We hope to provide access to affordable capital, data analytics tools to help them run their stores and serve their communities, and avenues to make them more disaster resilient. We also plan to launch new apps that cater to different types of sari-sari stores.