Prosperna And the 100k Mission to Empower Philippine MSMEs with eCommerce

November 10, 2021

Tell us about yourself?

I’m a Filipino-American who spent 12+ years of my professional career in Silicon Valley as an executive leader helping build some of the fastest growing SaaS companies in the world like, Cornerstone OnDemand and Xero. 

While at Salesforce, my role was to build and grow their first professional services sales organization from scratch. In less than 1 year, my team and I built a $16+million dollar division across San Francisco, Sydney and Dublin, Ireland. 

Dennis Velasco, CEO of Prosperna

Probably the most super fun and rewarding part of my career in the US was the 5 years I spent at Cornerstone OnDemand. Talk about running fast. I started and built their Mid-Market and Small Business division across the US and then globally. Then within 3 years, we went public on the NASDAQ – it was amazing!

Then prior to leaving the San Francisco Bay Area for Manila, I was the North America VP of Sales for Xero Small Business Cloud Accounting Software and gew that region by over 600% – from there, I turned in my corporate laptop to pave my own road.

Now, as the Founder and CEO of Prosperna, this is probably the best decision and one of the most exciting journeys I’ve EVER had. It’s a true blessing to be able to empower an entire country and economy that’s probably 15-20 years behind-the-times tech-wise is just super fulfilling.

As you can tell, I only have 2 speeds and that’s either “all the way” or “no way”…and the future for Prosperna and Philippine MSMEs has the opportunity to make a major positive impact on the Philippines economy through the next 10+ years and beyond.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

When I was 12 years old, I visited the Philippines for the first time and from that trip, two things stuck in my mind that would shape my mindset forever.

First, I fell in love with the rich family culture that makes the Philippines such a great country of awesome people. 

The second thing I saw was not so positive. As a young adolescent, it was the first time I had ever seen homeless children begging for food and money. It was also very apparent that there was such a big economic gap between the “haves” and the “have nots”.

With parents who were both small business immigrants to the USA, I was always the go to “tech guy in the family”. 

This experience, combined with my frequent trips to the Philippines and my professional journey formed my dream 

to one day, move to the Philippines to “raise the bar” and “level the playing field” for the country with the power of technology.

What is your magic sauce?

Before we came into the scene, the only options Philippine MSMEs had were from abroad and those are way too complicated, a one-size fits all approach and too expensive, not to mention no local support. To that end, Prosperna’s advantage is that we’re 300% focused on supporting the local needs of Philippine MSMEs. At Prosperna, we eat, sleep and breathe Philippine MSME success 24 x 7 x 365.

Where do you see your company going in 5 years?

With over 2,000 Prosperna users so far, we’re getting tons of great feedback on the goals and aspirations of Philippine MSMEs. With that, we’re aligning our vision and plans to continue helping empower them to grow by adding complimentary services, more features and integrations in the areas of payments, logistics and digital marketing. Many of our customers also have plans to expand and market and sell their products outside the Philippines and we plan to help them make this not just a reality but easy.

What has been your biggest setback so far?

Hhhhmmmm…to be honest, the setbacks so far have been typical “startup setbacks” like hiring the best and scaling growth. All of which are not just solvable but an advantage for us because the Philippines encompasses some of the most talented people in the world. If we win, so will the Philippines economy and Filipinos alike.

What has been your biggest win so far?

Today and for us, the “big” wins really come in the form of feedback and success stories that we hear about directly from our customers. If we can help them be successful, our BIG wins as a company will naturally fall into place. That said, it’s been great to see our company rapidly grow to achieve over 2,000+ users and double digits every month.

What is the next big challenge for your business?

The next big challenge for us will be announced in Q1 of 2022…stay tuned. 🙂

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

Our philosophy is “the more you give, the more you get in return”. And our vision is all about empowering people by making eCommerce accessible to everyone. If we can help Philippine MSMEs “level the playing field” with the power of our platform, that will speak volumes about our vision.

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