Introducing The Kaya Founders Manifesto

As published by: Kaya Founders

The quantum leap in digital adoption we have experienced in recent times has triggered an inpouring of capital within the venture capital (VC) industry. Total deal value in the Philippines breached US$1 billion for the first time in 2021 1, while global investment clocked in at an unprecedented $671 billion.2 Beyond a peak in overall levels, we are also observing a compositional shift in funding activity. Venture funding is no longer the exclusive remit of venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, as non-traditional investors recognize the unmatched returns VC can provide and enter the scene. Other regions, including Southeast Asia, are accounting for a rising portion of deal volume.


As VC activity reaches an all time high, employees and start-ups alike are prioritizing workplaces and investors that can provide more than just transactional capital. What does this mean for us at Kaya Founders? In an economy awash with capital and strained for breakout ventures and labor, Kaya Founders differentiates itself through our core values. We believe that ultimately, what will attract the best companies and talent is a strategic partner that can provide purposeful capital, with values aligned with their own. Below are the four principles that drive how Kaya Founders operates as an organization, encompassing our investment strategy and the company culture we seek to foster.


Entrepreneurship is everywhere 💡


“Talent is universal, but opportunity is not.” Kaya Founders believes in the transformative power of technology to level the playing field and democratize opportunity for all.


We embrace founders and employees from all backgrounds and believe that the world’s stickiest problems will be solved not from an ivory tower, but by those closest to realities on the ground.


We value diversity not for diversity’s sake, but stemming from the foundational belief that companies thrive when there is a multiplicity of perspectives to challenge and enlighten one another.


Radical candor at all times 🗣


There is no room for ego on our team. We achieve the best outcomes when everyone is empowered to speak their minds in the service of truth.


We are committed to cultivating a nonhierarchical environment that prizes factuality and authenticity over title or relative stature. Every team member is obligated to say what they think and to hold each other accountable, even when it is uncomfortable to do so.


Feedback is our lifeblood. We believe that constructive and respectfully delivered criticism is imperative for elevating collective performance. The fastest way to achieve product-market fit is by truly understanding customer needs and relentlessly discarding biased assumptions.


Bias for action 💥


We are driven by results, and believe that high quality work can be produced irrespective of one’s location and life circumstances. Output, rather than attendance or hours spent, is the only relevant indicator of performance.


We encourage everyone to take action, even when the path forward is unclear. The ability to take risks and make decisions in the face of ambiguity is key to continuous progress.


Finally, rapid experimentation lies at the core of how Kaya operates, and we strive to use both successes and failures as learning fodder. The quicker we test new ideas, the quicker we can learn, adapt, and iterate. Even as we move swiftly, we take no shortcuts when it comes to integrity, treating each other with respect, upholding human dignity, and abiding by the highest ethical standards.


Boldness in every pursuit 💪


Kaya Founders is building the future we want to see. We will only ever invest in ventures that are aligned with our mission and have the potential to meaningfully improve the status quo.


We recognize the importance of balancing optimism with pragmatism. Innovation does not necessarily mean starting from scratch or achieving perfection. It does, however, require audacity. We gravitate toward those who are undaunted by limits and think in unconstrained ways. In our founders, as in our team, we look for pioneers motivated by the prospect of solving difficult problems. Missteps and detours are a given — ultimately, what sets the winners apart are the courage to start and the grit to persist.


If there is anything The Great Resignation has taught us, it’s that people are driven by purpose and want to work for companies that stand for something. At Kaya Founders, we are committed to championing these four values — within our organization, among our portfolio companies, and in the broader tech community.

If these values strike a chord with you, we encourage you to reach out and see how you can be a part of the Kaya movement. You may reach us at: hello@kayafounders.com.

1 Philippine Venture Capital Report, Foxmont Capital Partners & BCG, 2022. https://web-assets.bcg.com/69/0e/27765c114ab3b2553584d44bab23/philippine-venture-capital-report-2022.pdf

2 Venture Pulse Q4 2021, KPMG, 2021. https://assets.kpmg/content/dam/kpmg/xx/pdf/2022/01/venture-pulse-q4-2021.pdf


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