Early-stage investor EME Myanmar in talks to grow corpus by $20m next year

Mandalay, Myanmar

Myanmar-based early-stage investment firm Emerging Markets Entrepreneurs (EME) is planning to raise a further $20 million by the fourth quarter of 2021 to support its portfolio and invest in new startups, according to a top executive of the firm.

“This raising of $20 million will enable the company to continue to support its existing portfolio as it grows while also continuing to invest in startups that target mass markets and bring tangible value to Myanmar consumers and businesses,” EME investment manager Matthew Viner told us.

The firm currently invests out of an initial corpus of $3 million and cuts cheques between $50,000 and $250,000, with scope to make follow-on rounds. EME Myanmar typically picks up to 15 per cent stake in its portfolio companies.

Established in October 2018 by Myanmar-focused investment firm UMJ Ikeya Investment Ltd, EME focuses on putting equity in early- to growth-stage startups across Myanmar in tech and non-tech industries including education, agriculture, healthcare, logistics and e-commerce.

Investors who have participated in setting up EME include Emerging Markets Group Holdings (EMGH), United Managers Japan, the Dutch Good Growth Fund (through Triple Jump) and Singapore-based angel investor Dr Yit Fan Wong.

To date, EME Myanmar has made eight investments including baby products e-commerce and delivery provider Kyarlay, e-commerce startup Ezay, animation company Joosk Studio, car trading startup CarsDB, HR company Mote Poh, call centre service provider Lan Thit Masterpiece and local company producing high-quality solar-dried chili powder and other dried products Natural Farm Fresh. Most recently, the company joined United Managers Japan Inc (UMJ) to invest $750,000 in baby products e-commerce and delivery provider Kyarlay.

Edited excerpts of an interview:

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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.

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.