Seed Myanmar, an early-stage technology investment vehicle of Singapore-based Vulpes Investment Management, has led a $100,000 investment in Flexible Pass, a Yangon-based startup providing fitness passes, according to founder Sully Bholat.
An unnamed individual investor also participated in the round, he said. This deal, which was closed earlier this month, marks Vulpes’ sixth investment in Myanmar.
Singapore-based Vulpes Investment Management also recently undertook a rebranding exercise of its country-focused Vulpes Innovative Myanmar Investment Company as Seed Myanmar, a vehicle dedicated to making early-stage technology investments. The move was in response to the challenges in finding investible bets and deploying capital in big-ticket deals in the frontier market of Myanmar.
Seed Myanmar is led by Field Pickering, chief operations officer and general counsel of Vulpes Investment Management, with partners, Rita Nguyen and Ye Myat Min, who will offer hands-on mentoriship to portfolio startups.
Born out of the Founder Institute Program of Phandeeyar, a tech hub in Yangon, Flexible Pass provides affordable and flexible fitness options to book and use at over 50 gyms in Yangon.
The funding will be used to improve its technology and mobile app for better user experience. “We will also expand Flexible Pass to other cities such as Mandalay and also cover other categories like wellness and beauty services,” said founder and CEO Sully Bholat in an interaction with this portal. To date, the year-old company claims to have over 6,000 bookings to gyms and fitness.
More deals in pipeline
The early stage investor Seed Myanmar has also signed a term sheet with Yangon-based startup MMTutors, a platform to book tutors.
Seed Myanmar is also looking at adding two more new investments during this year, said Pickering.
“Seed Myanmar works closely with management teams. We view our role as a board member as an opportunity to contribute our knowledge and experience,” he said.
Earlier in 2018, Vulpes made an investment in Burgundy Hills, an agri-business and food company aggregating, processing and delivering products along the entire agriculture value chain in Myanmar.
Such non-tech investments are made through a special purpose vehicle that Vulpes has set up outside Seed Myanmar.
Entering the venture landscape of Myanmar in early 2017, Vulpes’ previous investments include Chate Sat, an online platform connecting businesses and freelancers; Kargo, a logistics startup; Bindez, a search engine and discovery platform backed by 500 Startups and digital consulting firm, nexlabs.
The ticket size of the previous investments of Seed Myanmar has been in a six-digit dollar range while Vulpes is also capable of sealing bigger deals if they find appropriate opportunities.