Frontier Digital Ventures enters Myanmar with two deals

frontier markets visual from the website

Frontier Digital Ventures (FDV) has made two landmark investments in Myanmar’s leading online automobile and property websites, marking its foray into the premier frontier market.

The websites are MyanmarCarsDB.com and iMyanmarHouse.com.

FDV offers participating entrepreneurs a singularly unique proposition, providing not only necessary capital, but also invaluable expertise in developing, growing and operating online classifieds businesses.

Shaun Di Gregorio, CEO and co-founder, commented that the investments in Myanmar ideally positions FDV in the country as the market emerges.

Di Gregorio said FDV found the companies fairly quickly given the specific business areas it was looking at.

“We did our homework on the market and found these companies to be well-run by local entrepreneurs whom we are happy to back,” he told DEALlSTREETASIA over the phone.

The entrepreneurs’ background, having been out of the country to Singapore for university, further convinced Di Gregorio that they were worth it.

He recognised that businesses can capitalise on first mover advantages as consumers experience services and products for the first time and develop long term loyalties to, en masse.

“Myanmar is the last untouched market in Asia. We are actively working with the management teams of both companies to accelerate their growth and extend their market leadership,” he was quoted in a statement.

MyanmarCarsDB.com was established in January 2012, the first online automobile marketplace to connect car buyers and sellers in Myanmar.

It now has more than 40,000+ cars listed, registering the highest volume of consumer traffic to both its website and mobile application of any online automotive resource in the country.

MyanamarCarsDB.com has positioned itself as the go-to source for car classifieds, local car market news, local auto tax information and auto directory services throughout Myanmar.

iMyanamarHouse.com, launched in October 2013, has the country’s highest traffic, by consumers looking up real estate and property information and news. It has over 31,000 properties listed for sale or rent.

Currently, Myanmar has the largest untapped population in Southeast Asia.

Its government has intentions to achieve Internet penetration for at least half the population by 2016, and introduce mobile phone adoption to 80 per cent of its 60 million people.

To cite a few indications of digital adoption in Myanmar, Norwegian telecom firm Telenor registered two million users just two months after opening their first store in Rangoon in September 2014.

Qatar Telecom’s Ooredoo has also recorded millions of subscribers within months of launching in August 2014, according to FDV.

Ooredoo anticipates that Myanmar will be its second largest market outside of Indonesia.

The Kuala Lumpur-based FDV’s vision is to be a leading operator of online classifieds businesses in frontier and pre-emerging markets. The two investments in Myanmar echo its recent investments in the top property and automobile sites in Pakistan.

In Pakistan, the firm has invested in property and automobile websites Zameen.com and PakWheels.com. FDV’s other earlier investments include Vivareal.com in Brazil and Propertyfinder.ae in the Middle East and North Africa.

With two more investments in its stable, FDV appeared on track to achieving its target portfolio of up to 30 investments, 15 of which are aimed to be sealed by mid-2015.

Also read: Frontier Digital Ventures invests $3.5m in PakWheels.com

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.