Myanmar’s MySQUAR raises $2.6m in London listing

Visual from the company website

MySQUAR, Myanmar’s only social media platform in the local language, has raised $2.6 million, at a valuation of $27.8 million, through an initial public offering on London’s Aim.

DEALSTREETASIA had first reported this development in April, and had said that MySQUAR was looking to raise $2.5 million, via a London listing, at a valuation of $25 million. The report had quoted Shashi Fernando, Chief Executive Officer at Yonder and Beyond, the Australia listed global technology accelerator, that has 3 per cent equity holdings in MySQUAR,

Also Read: Exclusive: Myanmar’s MySQUAR aims to raise $2.5m in May London listing

AIM is the London Stock Exchange’s international market for smaller growing companies. A wide range of businesses including early stage, venture capital backed as well as more established companies join AIM seeking access to growth capital.

MySQUAR said it would use the funds to expand its product line, moving into news, information, financial and payment services in the future to augment its social networking and gaming products

In August last year, MySQUAR had unveiled its free mobile messaging app – MyChat – built solely for Myanmar.

The successful listing comes off the back of MySQUAR’s significant growth within the Myanmar telecoms market. Its MyChat app was recently ranked fifth in Google Play’s top free applications store, with over 680,000 accounts on the instant messaging app. By the end of the year, the company expects the figure to have treble to 1.5 million users.

“What we are seeing in Myanmar is a social revolution and it is gaining traction quickly,” said Eric Schaer, chief executive of MySQUAR. “A SIM card was hundreds of dollars three years ago and now is just US$1.50, making it easily attainable for the population. Although little over 30 per cent of Myanmar’s 60 million population has a handset, the penetration rate is expected to hit 100 per cent in the next five years. We are in a fantastic position to capitalise on this growth and the market has confirmed our position,” he added in a statement.

Post the listing, Yonder & Beyond’s 3% is worth $845,000, which represents a value up-lift of 24% in four months. “MySQUAR is one of the most exciting companies within our portfolio and this listing provides us with a significant return on our investment,” said Shashi Fernando, chief executive of Yonder and Beyond, in a statement. “It continues to grow at a rapid rate. Through its listing on AIM, they are allowing investors to access the Myanmar market, as well as enabling MySQUAR access to growth capital,” he added.

MySQUAR intends to expand its product line and Schaer said he was confident that the company would break-even in 2018. The firm intends to move into news, information, financial and payment services in the future to augment its social networking and gaming products.

By 2019, MySQUAR expects to capture and keep 30 per cent of Myanmar’s connected population continuing its rapid growth trajectory.

Last year, techinasia, had an interesting post, where MySQAR’s erstwhile Canadian founder claimed she was ousted in a ‘hostile takeover’ of the social media platform. The report further quoted a blogpost titled, ‘When investors turn into bullies’, where Rita Nguyen, founder and former CEO of MySQUAR, had said that her co-founder Nguyen Quynh Anh, and she were “locked out” of the company. Another report, in local media, had said that Rita Nguyen, who had been named one of Forbes’ Asia Power Businesswomen, had taken down this blog post, on June 17, a week after she had uploaded the same.

Earlier this year, Myanmar granted mobile licenses to Telenor and Ooredoo after these two companies were selected last year following a bidding process, becoming the first foreign mobile phone companies to operate in the country. Their rollout of services has seen Myanmar’s low mobile phone penetration rise rapidly over the last few months.

Also Read: Anthem Asia invests in Myanmar’s mobile data collection startup Xavey

ASX-listed technology accelerator Yonder and Beyond set to expand ops to Singapore

 

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.