Exclusive: iMyanmarHouse founder plans tech-focused venture fund by 2018

Nay Min Thu, managing director of iMyanmar House in his office in Yangon.

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 CabsHe 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.

Also Read: Myanmar’s Food2U gets six-digit funding from local individuals

Myanmar B2B trading platform Bagan Hub plans to raise fresh funding

Exclusive: Myanmar’s Hello Cabs raises funding from iMyanmar Group founder

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.