A pitching competition for startup founders in Yangon, Myanmar, had a winner in Digital Royal Net Solution Co Ltd, a tech start-up that created ‘E-School’ software for school management.
The first runner-up in Seedstars Yangon contest was ZigWay, that helps micro-finance institutions provide small loans. The third place went to Pai Innovation Co Ltd, whose app, ‘Go P’ helps users find all tour packages provided by various agencies in one place.
Digital Royal Net will now fly to Switzerland to get up to $1 million investment. Seedstars World promotes, connects and invests up to $1.5 million in emerging market startups through its startup competition in 60 countries
“If you get into good habits from the start, the investor community will consider you in a different group compared to everybody else. This is extremely important,” said Azeem Azimuddin, chief financial officer of AYA bank.
The winner’s app, E-School’s functions include letting schools and parents to search the timetables of exams, results and attendances.
Started around one and a half years ago, they are currently selling the application to private schools for K1,000,000 ($841). However, schools that have more than 3000 students will get to use the app free.
“We have sold (the app) to eight private schools in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw. Pyina Pandaing school in Nay Pyi Taw is now using the mobile application,” said Phone Pye Oo, founder and CEO of Digital Royal Net.
Apart from schools, the app will be sold to parents for $2 per student for an academic year. This would be useful at a time when Myanmar has had significant change in its political governance, and the education sector.
Digital Royal Net has been self-funded until now and have used nearly K50 million ($42,058). Oo said it is very hard for start-ups to getting funding in Myanmar. Most of the active venture funds are based abroad. Local investors are still not used to the venture capital ecosystem.
“Investors don’t know how to structure funding deals to start-ups. For instance, they want 60 per cent equity for an amount of funding that should get 25 per cent equity,” said Oo.
Digital Royal Net is in talks with Myanmar Institute of Business and AYA for work related to corporate social responsibility.
AYA financial group has plans ahead to be part of more deals and support young innovators. “We plan to bring in angel funds, incubators, accelerators and a full range of investment vehicles to take the start-ups through the SME medium and go all the way up to listing and JV partnerships,” said Azimuddin.
AYA is also working to build public-private partnerships and looking to bring in more international good practices to be implemented in the country.