UK’s CDC Group invests $30m in Myanmar’s telco firm Frontiir

CDC Group, the UK-based development finance institution, has invested $30 million in Yangon’s internet service provider Frontiir, marking its first direct equity investment in Myanmar.

Despite Myanmar’s growing mobile broadband penetration, access to digital services in the country is still very low, which poses a significant challenge to communities and businesses. The data usage there also remains unaffordable.

CDC’s investment will help Frontiir connect over 2 million people on the internet in Myanmar. The company’s service called ‘Myanmar Net’ claims to the fastest-growing internet service in the country since its inception four years ago.

Going forward, Frontiir plans to expand its service coverage to lower-income townships within Yangon and Mandalay, and expects to grow to 22 cities and towns by 2022.

“With CDC’s investment, we are excited to have the opportunity to create thousands of jobs and provide millions with unlimited internet for as low as 200 Kyats ($0.13) per day, and triple our foreign direct investment into Myanmar over the next 3 years,” Frontiir chief executive and chairman Wai Lin Tun said in a statement.

CDC Group, which is also owned by the UK government, is an investment firm that invests in private equity, venture capital, debt and guarantees, mezzanine and other types of investment.

The firm primarily invests in sectors such as financial services, infrastructure, health and education, food processing business, agriculture, manufacturing and construction, among others.

CDC has investments in the Myanmar Opportunities Fund II and Irradwaddy Green Towers, among others. The group recently made headlines for its $40 million investment in Indian grocery delivery firm BigBasket in April this year.

Meanwhile, Frontiir previously raised an undisclosed amount of funding from a private equity fund manager Delta Capital Myanmar in December 2017. Besides, Daiwa PI Partners, an investment arm of Daiwa Securities Group, also invested $6.26 million for a 10 per cent stake in Frontiir.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.