Emerging Markets Entrepreneurs, a Myanmar-based early-stage VC, has scored two new investments while Yangon-based Trust Venture Partners has injected a five-digit sum into e-wallet aggregator Bards.
Emerging Markets Entrepreneurs makes two new investments
Myanmar-based early-stage investment firm Emerging Markets Entrepreneurs (EME) has made two new investments in chilli producer Natural Farm Fresh and on-demand maid services startup Yangon Broom.
The two deals take EME’s total portfolio to six companies to date.
EME has co-invested a six-figure sum into Natural Farm Fresh along with United Managers Japan Inc. The investment is said to help the company develop new products and introduce digital technologies throughout the supply chain. Natural Farm Fresh produces chilli and other dried food products using locally produced solar dryers to increase yield value.
“The chilli market in Myanmar is well over $100 million and growing; regionally, the numbers are even higher and together we’re very well placed to take advantage of this huge market potential,” said EME director Hitoshi Ikeya.
Meanwhile, EME has also participated in a five-digit funding in on-demand maid services startup Yangon Broom along with its co-investor Vietnam-based Nest Tech. Currently operating in Yangon, the startup will roll out more verticals in 2020.
Founded in 2018, EME has also invested in animation company Joosk Studio, car trading startup CarsDB, HR company Mote Poh and call centre Lan Thit Masterpiece Limited. The early-stage VC typically invests $50,000-250,000 in each deal.
EME said even as the total number of startups founded in 2019 appeared to be lower than previous years, there was a transition from cornerstone models such as classifieds and e-commerce to more experimental, innovative startups.
Trust Venture Partners backs e-wallet aggregator Bards
Myanmar-based digital solutions provider Bards has raised a funding round from financial advisor Trust Venture Partners and an angel investor, the company said in a statement.
Bards is developing a unified payment solution for mobile wallets, called Dinger (the Burmese word for coin), in Myanmar. The company has secured a partnership with a local mobile wallet and expects to enter into agreements with two more mobile wallet firms.
“The integrated platform will tackle fragmented payment ecosystem as a bridge between e-commerce businesses and mobile wallets, allowing e-commerce businesses to accept payment from many kinds of mobile wallets,” it said.
The startup claimed it has secured ten letters of intent from e-commerce platforms in different industries including education, retail, health and wellness, as of August 2019.
“Dinger unlocks the potential of commercial platforms on Internet as it provides digital commercial access to those unbanked in Myanmar,” said Shinsuke Goto, CEO at Trust Venture Partners.
The firm has invested in companies such as fitness app Flexible Pass, Myanmar Institute of Business, career advice platform Live the Dream, business information provider Frontier Myanmar Research and food firm Provide Advanced Technology.