VC funding in tech on the rise even as trading on YSX dips

The Myanmar Stock Price Index hit an all-time low at the close of trading last week, closing the second week of the year at 450.14, down by almost 5 percent during the week.

Over the period, only shares of Myanmar Thilawa SEZ Holdings (MTSH) were significantly traded. The company released its results for the six months to September 30, 2017 on December 29, reporting a 36 percent year-on-year rise in revenues amounting to K8.1 billion. Despite higher revenue, earnings were down 43pc year-on-year, to K6.2 billion, due to a lower share of profits from MTSH’s other investments.

Investors are looking at more growth potential ahead, though. In its report, MTSH said new streams of revenue would come from the development of Phase 1, Zone B of the SEZ this year. Management said it is confident of achieving stronger growth from the sales of industrial plots across the 100 hectare area in the coming quarters.

Trading on the Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) dipped despite higher economic growth projections by the government, announced during the week. GDP growth in Myanmar is expected to hit 6.8pc for the 2017-18 fiscal year, President U Htin Kyaw said last Tuesday.

Venture capital interest

While trading on the YSX has floundered, venture capital (VC) has been flowing into local tech start-ups though. Last week, Innoveller Co, a three-year-old software as a service (SaaS) provider for bus ticketing solutions, received a six digit sum under Series A funding from Myanmar VC firm BOD Tech Ventures.

Innoveller is a digital platform providing bus seats for all major routes and 110 local destinations within Myanmar. The company facilitates the sale of around 800,000 bus tickets per month, generating monthly revenues amounting to around K6 billion, said Ko Kyaw Kyaw Win, co-founder of Innoveller. “We have basically digitised traditional express bus ticketing by providing an online platform for bus ticket sales,” he said.

BOD Tech Ventures has also invested in online travel agency Flymya.com, travel portal Go-Myanmar.com, mobile education platform DedaaBox, local content creator Myanmar Online Creations, food delivery startup Yangondoor2door, e-commerce platform shopmyar.com and Laundry.com.mm.

A second local tech firm, nexlabs, also received a six-digit equity injection from Singapore VC firm Vulpes Innovative Myanmar Investment Company (VIMIC), during the week. nexlabs provides digital services including web and app development, brand and identity management, social media management and market research. Its customers include Singapore Tourism Board, Wave Money and City Mart Holdings.

Source: Myanmar Times

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