Micro-D International And Novare Sign A Multibillion-peso Deal With Advantage Partners
It may be a mere pandemic buzz-term for most of us but for Micro-D International Inc (MDI) and its subsidiary, Novare Technologies, “digital transformation” is the core of their foundation.
The tumultuous year of 2020 forced businesses and individuals to adapt in order to survive the pandemic. It was imperative that they pivot to new technologies that were safer, easier and more convenient. At the helm of this digital migration are MDI and Novare Technologies, both of which cater to blue-chip companies many would consider essential.
MDI and Novare Technologies engineer the systems behind the online banking services and streaming websites that help us get through each day. These platforms, and many more, are their bread and butter, the products of their raison d’être that helps tech reliant organisations with day-to-day tasks. Though some may not immediately recognise it, MDI’s expertise and tech savvy are all integrated into the quotidian routines of a vast majority.
Myla Villanueva, a Silicon Valley graduate and founder of MDI, shares that for their clients, digital transformation is the key to powerful customer experiences. “Our largest clients are banks, telecommunications, insurance companies, fintechs and utilities. In and of itself, they are moving money, water, electricity, security and bandwidth. Not exactly warm and fuzzy products,” she explains. “[Digitalisation helps] to create powerful customer experiences. The relationship with consumers is [then] deepened and becomes more enduring and satisfying. The relationship is transformed.”
For decades now, MDI and Novare Technologies have been working to bring convenience to our fingertips. This 2021, they enter into an exciting new venture with their third multi-billion peso deal. “It has always been my goal to make MDI the Philippines’ national champion in technology,” Villanueva shares.
“[This] partnership simply came at the most perfect time, when digital transformation became even more of an imperative, [especially] for corporations [looking] to serve the evolving needs of their customers.”
MDI and Novare Technologies’ new partner is Advantage Partners (AP), a private equity investment firm headquartered in Japan. Having already invested in 43 companies across a range of industries, AP finds itself at the perfect crossroads with MDI. Together, both will work hand in hand to grow MDI both within the country and outside the region.
“It was a very competitive process,” Villanueva tells us of the merger. “[There were] six international bidders who vied for MDI Novare, among them very large private equity firms. [In the end], I chose AP since they understood our goal to be a national champion in technology for the country.” This, in fact, is Villanueva’s third impactful career exit.
MDI also happens to be AP’s first investment on Philippine shores. Not to mention, this was one of only three mergers and acquisitions that took place in Southeast Asia for a competitive majority stake investment during the year 2020.
Both parties are extremely happy with one another. “We wanted a partner that aligned with our vision for ourselves and the country,” Villanueva explains. “All of the international bidders said they could do just that, [but] in the end, we chose what felt most natural.”
MDI, under the guidance of AP, is now perfectly positioned to take on the global stage, with talks of IPOs on the horizon. And with the pandemic shaping and reshaping the digital landscape, it’s become more significant than ever.
Despite their success though, Villanueva admits that 2020 was not easy for them. “[It was] intense,” she admits. “I think everyone was caught off guard with the pandemic; [but] we were growing very fast before [the pandemic], even more so during it.”
As their clients migrated digitally, MDI had needed to fuel their upkeep. “There was a lot of adjusting and handholding of our people,” Villanueva says. For a company that was founded in 1988, MDI considers itself a fairly “young company”, especially in terms of the average age of its employees. “It was surreal how quickly [and] seamlessly [we moved] from physical to virtual worlds in one week. Not only were we answering our clients’ current and urgent needs, [we were also] caring for our employees.”
Thanks to their quick acclimatising, MDI continues to support us by supporting their clients. “Industries are really transforming themselves and what they are. We are partners in that journey,” Villanueva says.
As MDI ventures off to newer heights with AP, Villanueva turns to focus herself on another upcoming challenge—one that’s likely looming on everyone’s minds: the 2022 presidential elections. “I serve as the Chair of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting [PPCRV],” Villanueva states. “I am getting ready to serve with 500,000 volunteers.”
As she did with her businesses, Villanueva invites everyone to volunteer for the cause and help in transforming our country.
- Photography (Myla Villanueva's portrait) Dookie Ducay
- Images (Additional) Micro-D International Inc