Wave Money could be Myanmar’s first tech unicorn, says Yoma Strategic CEO Pun

With the recent establishment of a new holding company to acquire the additional stake in Myanmar-based fintech company Wave Money, Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic Holdings aims to become central to the country’s financial system in the near future.

In an interview with DealStreetAsia, Yoma Strategic Holdings CEO Melvyn Pun said Wave Money is targeting as many as 11 million monthly active users on its platform in the next four years. “If we achieve that, this will hopefully be the first tech unicorn in Myanmar,” he added.

Last month, Yoma Strategic announced that it will acquire partner Telenor Group’s stake in Wave Money for $76.5 million. Upon completion of the transaction, it plans to invest up to $25 million in the fintech company. After the transactions, Yoma Group will own roughly two-thirds stake in Wave Money, while Ant Group will hold the rest.

Pun said this was the right time for Yoma Strategic to acquire a controlling stake in Wave Money in a country where 70 per cent of the population is unbanked.

“We looked at the future potential and felt that this is a very opportune time for a local business to take over as a controlling shareholder to help us navigate the long-term business plan,” he said.

Edited excerpts of the interview:-

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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.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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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.