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Rural e-commerce startup secures funding

Emerging Markets Myanmar (EME-Myanmar), a Yangon-based investment firm, has invested in an e-commerce start-up for rural retailers. A six-digit sum was invested but the exact amount was not disclosed.

Ezay, founded by former Oway employee Ko Kyaw Min Swe in August, is a start-up which will provide a mobile platform for customers to purchase new stock from wholesalers as well as arrange for delivery of items online. This eliminates the need for retailers to physically travel to shops.

“[Restocking] is a real burden and is common across Myanmar; often the husband will go to the wholesaler but must take time off work to do so… we saw an opportunity to address this issue and connect wholesalers and retailers through a mobile platform – providing delivery to make life easier for retailers,” said Ko Kyaw Min Swe, founder of Ezay.

“This investment really represents the value that mobile solutions can bring to rural communities across the country,” said Hitoshi Ikeya, investment director of EME.

Ezay said in a statement that it has been receiving positive feedback from retailers who praised the platform’s convenience, delivery system and its unchanged pricing in comparison to offline, while wholesalers said that they are seeing more orders.

“We plan to expand rapidly across Myanmar once we’ve proven this model across our key villages. Our expansion will be both in area and also in services: as we develop a closer understanding of the retail supply chain and customer’s preferences we can adapt to serve those needs in new and exciting ways,” said Ko Kyaw Min Swe.

The e-commerce sector in Myanmar is still in its beginning stage at a market value of US$6 million, according to consultancy Colliers. However, online shopping on social media is more present as Facebook accounts for over 85 percent of all internet traffic in the country.

Source: Myanmar Times

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