Swiss startup enabler Seedstars raising capital for Myanmar operations

Photo: Juliet Shwe Gaung.

Seedstars Group, a Switzerland-based global platform supporting tech entrepreneurship in emerging markets, is raising capital to expand its operations in Myanmar, said a top executive of Thura Swiss, which is advising Seedstars on the capital raising and market entry.

Seedstars is planning to establish an entity in Myanmar along with an investor and is open to a capital of sub $5 million, said Alec Maurice, director, business development of Thura Swiss.

The actual fund raising will be dependent on discussions with potential investors.

Seedstars is aiming to be at the forefront of the tech entrepreneurship ecosystem in the frontier market by bringing international expertise along with local know how through its multi-channel platform.

The second phase will involve deploying portfolio investments, which have been internally developed around the globe to Myanmar, across the verticals of fintech, edtech, health-tech and agri-tech.

“Now is the perfect time for us to launch our operations in Myanmar. The country has a generation of young, smart and connected entrepreneurs, who are looking to solve everyday issues in this rapidly growing country. Seedstars will be able to bring the appropriate added value to create leapfrog development.” said Michael Weber, co-founder of Seedstars.

The key activities of Seedstars in Myanmar would be to drive company building through incubation, investments (to be made in the near future) and establishing a tech ecosystem, said Maurice, during an interaction with DEALSTREETASIA.

It is also looking at bringing in Seedspace, an arm of Seedstars Group, that handles co-working and co-living activities in over 25 countries.

Activities like pitching competitions, boot camps, hackathons, industry workshops, mentoring sessions are also on the drawing board. Besides, it is also exploring with the idea of setting up an academy to train local entrepreneurs.

Seedstars’ has previously held the Seedstars World competitions in Myanmar to choose top local talent to compete at the global stage. Seedstars Yangon competition in June 2017 saw logistics startup Kargo head to Switzerland for the global Seedstars World summit.

Others contributing to Myanmar’s tech ecosystem include Phandeeyar, an innovation lab, Lithan, a Singapore-based private education institution, and New Westminster Co Ltd, which is holding a University hackathon challenge in Yangon.

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