Nay Min Thu, founder of real estate website iMyanmarHouse.com, is planning to launch a venture capital (VC) fund targeted at early-stage tech startups in Myanmar by next year.
Thu intends to start small, with a fund size of $5 million, he said during an interaction with DEALSTREETASIA.
Thu is currently in talks with local real estate players for the fundraising process.
The fund, called Myanmar Tech Ventures, has been in the works for almost a year. Having funded local startups as an angel investor, Thu believes a venture capital fund can provide bigger investments in local tech startups.
“We plan to make investments of ticket sizes between five- and six-digit figures in dollars,” said Thu. The fund targets to invest in 5-10 startups a year.
Thu, a technology graduate from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU), is the founder of iMyanmar Co., Ltd, which owns iMyanmarAds.com, the country’s largest online ad network, and iMyanmarHouse.com, a leading property website with over 100,000 listings.
As an angel investor, Thu’s investments include undisclosed sums in online shopping site 365Myanmar.com and Groupbuyy (a Groupon-like website) as well as a K$40,000 investment in B2B trading platform Bagan Hub.
More recently, Thu invested an undisclosed amount in ride-hailing app Hello Cabs. He is also an investor in Food2U, a Yangon-based food delivery service, that received a six-digit funding from local investors this year, valuing it at $1.5 million.
Thu’s own business, iMyanmarHouse.com, received an undisclosed investment from Malaysia-based investment firm Frontier Digital Ventures in 2014 that is backed by Catcha Group, Southeast Asia’s leading internet group.
As of May 2017, the site has got registrations from over 2000 agencies and over 450 property developers. Catch Group announced that in the first quarter of 2017, iMyanmarHouse generated 58% more leads for its advertisers when compared to the same period in 2016.
Myanmar has only a few active venture capital and investment firms. Funding avenues for local startups, therefore, are still limited.
Some of the active VCs in Myanmar include local VC BOD Tech whose portfolio firms include flymya.com, inmya.com, shopmyar.com, Yangondoor2door, Laundry.com.mm and Hla Pyo May. Frontier Digital Ventures’ portfolio companies include CarsDB, an automotive vertical. Similarly, Globalway Inc backed Globalway Ventures announced a $500,000 investment in code2LAB, a mobile based solutions provider for restaurants, in February 2017.