Startup Helping Sari-Sari Stores Wins Ignite Pitch Competition

Congrats, Packworks!

A startup that offers a platform to digitize the operations of sari-sari stores won the Philippine leg of this year’s Startup World Cup. Packworks bested nine other early-stage startups at the regional Wildfire pitch competition held at the Ignite 2022 Fusion hybrid conference and will go on to represent the Philippines and possibly win $1 million at 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,” said said Packworks CEO Bing Tan. “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."


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The runners-up at the event were Smile API, a digital platform that fast-tracks financial application processes, and, which provides worker benefits like healthcare to freelancers and solopreneurs.

Packworks’ integrated mobile app ecosystem, called "Super Sari Store App," offers inventory management to accounting to even loan application and finance management. Founded in 2018, the company initially focused on connecting multinational companies to neighborhood stores before transitioning into providing a platform that digitizes and modernizes all aspects of sari-sari store operations through a mobile app. 

Photo by Ignite.

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. 

“We think the key differentiator for Packworks is what we stand for,” Tan said. “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 added that the company is 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.”

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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