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Myanmar Startups Receive Investor Funding to Expand

Kone Si, a Yangon-based on-demand trucking start-up, has received a six-digit sum investment for nationwide expansion from Yangon Capital Partners (YCP), a Myanmar-focused venture capital under Trust Venture Partners, a local financial advisory firm, and Nest Tech, Vietnam-based venture capital company.

This is the second round of investment for Kone Si after it initially received pre-seed funding from Phandeeyar in 2017, according to its release on Monday.

The start-up is planning to use the new funding in three strategic business areas – to boost the utilisation of its technology platform, acquire talented staffs, and expand to other commercial cities around the country to strengthen its user base.

“We believe that understanding the power paradigm between the customers and truck suppliers is the key to success in the business,” said Ma Zar Phyu Tint Lwint, CEO of Kone Si.

“In addition to that, knowing the logistics freight flows throughout the year in the country is critical because that way we can help our partner truckers getting the return loads and operating efficiencies,” she said.

Businesses in Myanmar face difficulty in outsourcing transportation to third parties due to unreliability, lack of standardised procedures and non-transparent pricing among truckers, according to Kone Si.

Moreover, due to fluctuating transport pricing controlled by large trucking groups as well as unethical working nature, small fleet owners and individual truckers have to struggle to get regular jobs. Kone Si aims to bridge the gap between shippers and small fleet truckers.

“The services designed by market-savvy management will bring down logistics cost, a bottleneck of business operation across industries, and eventually benefit consumers in Myanmar” said Shinsuke Goto, managing director of YCP.

The ecosystem of Kone Si comprises more than 100 business shippers and over 2000 truckers; it also has an average month over month sales growth of 30 percent.

Before receiving investment from YCP and Nest Tech, Kone Si was first seeded by Phandeeyar, an early investor in Myanmar which has invested in Kone Si and 16 other local companies since 2016.

“Since they first joined Phandeeyar’s Startup Challenge 2017 and, later on, were invested by Phandeeyar in 2018, we’ve seen intense growth, both on them as founders and their startup as a business. This new round of investment reinforces our initial belief that they are on a path to positively transform the logistics industry in Myanmar” said João Dutra (Kyaw Aung), startup ecosystem director at Phandeeyar.

Just last week, Emerging Markets Entrepreneurs (EME), an early-stage venture capital firm, had also announced during its anniversary celebration on November 20 that it had invested a six-figure and five-figure sum respectively into two local start-ups: Natural Farm Fresh, a local company producing high-quality solar-dried chili powder and other dried products, and Yangon Broom, a home-services firm offering on-demand services including cleaning and ironing to residential homes and businesses.

Source: The Myanmar Times

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