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Myanmar Spotlight: Phandeeyar to Invest in Seven Yangon and Mandalay Tech Start-ups

Seven start-ups are powering Myanmar’s leapfrog into the digital economy

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BY Tricia V. Morente - 25 Oct 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Exciting times are ahead for seven start-ups in the Golden Country as Phandeeyar Accelerator, Myanmar’s first tech accelerator, announced its onboarding of seven tech start-ups from Yangon and Mandalay to its Cohort 2 in October 2017.

Cohort 2 heralds a new chapter in the accelerator’s history, aiming to further boost the development of Myanmar’s tech and start-up ecosystem. Just like last year, Phandeeyar will invest in the country’s most promising tech start-ups by providing $25,000 seed money, as well as over $200,000 worth of services from strategic partners, office space at Phandeeyar innovation lab in Yangon, access to a network of investors, and six months of intensive coaching and support from over 40 local and international mentors.

“It has always been Phandeeyar’s mission to invest in companies that can help Myanmar leapfrog into the digital economy,” shares Jes Kaliebe Petersen, CEO of Phandeeyar. Cohort 2 is built upon last year’s success, which saw the country’s first generation of accelerated companies—Chate Sat, White Merak, EzStay, and GoP—receiving international funding and recognition.

Phandeeyar Accelerator continues to be the most prolific investor in Myanmar’s tech and innovation ecosystem, with this year’s Cohort 2 onboarding almost twice the number of start-ups compared to last year. Two of seven start-ups come from Mandalay, with the remaining from Yangon; four out of seven have female founders. “The growing demand to start tech start-ups here in Myanmar is increasing in parallel with a booming interest from local and international firms to invest in local start-ups,” relates Petersen. Now is a great time to begin a start-up in Myanmar, he adds.

Lucky Number Seven

Addressing pain points within industries that range from logistics and healthcare, to entertainment, education, and recycling, the spotlight is on these seven tech start-ups under Phandeeyar Accelerator’s Cohort 2:

  1. 1. Amazing Express
    Amazing Express is a logistics service founded by Cho Nwe Zin, Aung Pyae Phyo, Khine Lin, and Htun Htun Win. It connects shops that want to provide delivery services to their customers and people from Myanmar who are willing to make deliveries in their spare time, generating a source of income.
  2. 2. Kone Si
    Founded by Zar Phyu Tint Lwin, Soe Pyae Aung, and Lei Lei Phyoe Ei, Kone Si is an online-to-online (O2O) freight system that connects shippers and carriers in Myanmar’s logistic industry, optimizing the transportation of goods in the country.
  3. 3. MMTutor
    An O2O platform, MMTutor enables parents and students in Myanmar to find the best trained and qualified tutors using an innovative digital review system. Founders are Phoo Pwint Eain, Phyo Wai Yan Win Swe, and Wai Phyo Aung.
  4. 4. Beluva
    Beluva is a music streaming app, provided by Phancasikha company, allowing subscribers to listen to Myanmar songs anytime, anywhere. The entertainment start-up is founded by Nay Win Myint, Tun Win Naing, and Du Wun Aung.
  5. 5. RecyGlo
    The innovative recycling solution founded by Shwe Yamin Oo, Okka Phyo Maung, Si Thu Win, and Sai Soe Moe Aung aims to solve the recycling and waste management problem in Myanmar. They offer innovative solutions through their online platform, including the collection of recyclable goods in bulk from offices, schools, and more.
  6. 6. Shwe Bite
    The Mandalay-founded innovative social platform delivers home-cooked meals to one’s doorstep. Founded by Moe Htet Kyaw, Kyaw Myo Tun, and Paing Pyae Sone, Shwe Bite’s objective is to empower women and housewives by enabling them to make extra income without leaving their home.
  7. 7. My HMS Tools
    Founded in Mandalay by Thiha Zaw, My HMS Tools provides cloud-based medical records for hospitals and clinics, enabling such facilities to better diagnose and provide increased trust among patients.

According to Petersen, the two Mandalay-based start-ups will move to the old capital of Yangon for Cohort 2. The seven start-ups will continue building their businesses from Phandeeyar’s new 10,000 square foot downtown office, learn about the principles of the Lean Methodology and other start-up tools from different mentors. The cohort runs from October to March, and will conclude with a Demo Day where start-ups will then present their businesses to investors and start-up ecosystem builders.

Prior to joining Cohort 2, the seven start-ups were selected out of a pool of 48 tech businesses by a panel of judges, including Vishal Harnal, General Partner at 500 Startups.

Says Harnal, “Together with Phandeeyar Accelerator, we witnessed a new wave of tech entrepreneurs ready to help Myanmar leapfrog into a digital economy. It isn’t surprising that VCs are already starting to take notice of start-ups here.”