The Unprecedented Explosion of Smartphones in Myanmar

Outside the offices of an internet startup called nexlabs, a snarl of honking cars and rickshaws grinds to a standstill on a trash-strewn street lined with crumbling buildings. Inside, though, the scene could be straight out of Silicon Valley. Programmers in t-shirts and jeans tap away at laptops beneath posters exhorting them to “Innovate” and […]

Development banks supplement roads and bridges with digital finance

• Building roads and bridges is still important for World Bank’s IFC, but digitally linking people is rising in significance. • IFC has disbursed $205 million to date into 29 financial technology investments; creating over 4,800 jobs in three years. • Digitally connecting people through new services has created new economic and employment opportunities. Multilateral […]

Promises and Pitfalls in Cambodia’s Online Business World

PHNOM PENH — As he described his search for funding for Khmerload, a digital media company touted as Cambodia’s version of BuzzFeed, chief executive Vichet In recounted an arduous struggle. “We sent an email to 10 [venture capitalists] — no reply. We talked to a few investors — there was no interest. They couldn’t believe […]

Silicon Valley school comes to Yangon

Budding entrepreneurs dreaming about quitting day jobs to found successful start-ups will soon have access to a Silicon Valley-designed training school that aims to help them do just that. Yangon-based innovation lab Phandeeyar is opening a Myanmar chapter of the California-based Founder Institute to cater to what it says is a huge pool of local […]

Entrepreneurship week hits nine Myanmar cities

Myanmar’s democratic transition has made chasing down dreams a bit easier for entrepreneurs, according to the president of the Myanmar Young Entrepreneurs’ Association (MYEA). The key difference since Myanmar began to open up is that now, with a good idea and enough capital, “you can do it”, said U Wai Phyo at a media roundtable […]

Startups in Myanmar Land of temples and tech

The startup culture germinates in an unlikely place REMARKABLE views greet visitors to Phandeeyar, an open-plan office and events space which sits atop a tower block in the centre of Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city. Its north windows frame golden pagodas and colonial mansions; to the south weather-beaten cargo ships glide up the Yangon River. The […]

RevoTech looks to expand

The startup Cinderella story sounds familiar in the age of Silicon Valley, when companies can begin in coffee shops and end up enterprises worth billions. In Myanmar, many businesses are still navigating first chapters in a burgeoning tech scene. This group includes Yangon–born creative digital agency Revo Tech, short for ‘Revolution Technology.’ The company, founded […]

Myanmar Returnees Bet on Frontier Economy’s Future

Former Google executive Nay Aung was philosophic as a crisis brewed at the Yangon headquarters of his Oway online travel services company. “I’m still struggling,” the tanned, muscular 34-year-old said as he apologized for interruptions during a recent meeting in his sparsely furnished office. “What I have, 60 percent is what I want. 40 percent, […]