Logistics startup Kargo wins Seedstars Yangon, to compete for up to $1m funding

The winning Kargo team at Seedstars Yangon 2017. Photo: Juliet Shwe Gaung.

Logistics startup Kargo emerged as the winner of Seedstars Yangon 2017, the Myanmar leg of the worldwide early-stage startup competition Seedstars World.

Kargo will be heading to Switzerland in April 2018 for the global Seedstars World summit where startups from about 80 countries will compete for a chance to receive up to $1 million in equity investment.

“The perfect thing about Switzerland is that it is just around the time when we will be looking for a strategic investor. It is around the Series A round that we will be looking for a larger set of money to really expand the network that we have been building so successfully,” said Alex Wicks, CEO of Kargo.

The startup received a six digit investment a month ago from Singapore-based venture capital firm Vulpes Investment Management. Investment from Vulpes had been part of the seed stage financing Kargo has been raising while it continues to raise about $200,000 investment.

On June 21, eight startups from Myanmar participated in the pitching session for Seedstars World in Yangon. Agri-mobile app Greenovator; healthcare service Doctor On Call; Agtrade, a market-matching platform for farmers, brokers and traders; Amyanpoh, a delivery solution for e-commerce; Thamadaw, a pharmacy marketplace platform; Neh Thit, a mobile based low-income job platform; and Instacash, an online lending platform, had been shortlisted for the pitching session, apart from Kargo.

Kargo connects businesses and individuals with a fleet of independent truck drivers and companies for on-demand delivery around the country. Its services cover cities including Yangon, Mandalay, Taunggyi, Pathein, Pyay and Lashio.

“We want to secure the key anchor business-to-business clients which move goods all over the country and then slowly develop those corridors more and move those goods more and more within those corridors,” said Wicks to DEALSTREETASIA. He added that the firm’s revenue for this month had fetched nearly $4000, for 150 to 200 orders.

This will be Seedstars World’s third outing in the country, welcoming early stage companies that are less than two years old, having received less than $500,000 investment together with a good traction. This year, the competition saw over 30 applications from Myanmar, out of which 10 were selected for the training program in Yangon and finally eight were filtered to go for the pitching session.

“Our philosophy is that success breeds success. By seeing successful startups to pitch, have their own business and take control of their career, we hope that it encourages more students, more corporates, startups and entrepreneurs to become fully fledged businesses,” said Nick Feneck, Asian associate for Seedstars World.

Seedstars World works closely with Omidyar Network, AYA Bank and Ooredoo. Further support is provided by Thura Swiss, Phandeeyar, Strategy First and Internet Journal.

In Myanmar, Seedstars World is looking for a long-term presence, with a vision to establish co-working spaces and broaden its support to the startup community in the country.

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