EME Myanmar Invests In Myanmar-based E-commerce Startup Ezay to Benefit Rural Communities

EME Myanmar, an early-stage venture capital firm with a mission of accelerating the growth of Myanmar’s startups, has made an undisclosed sum of investment in e-commerce startup Ezay, which operates an e-commerce platform that facilitates business between wholesalers and rural family-owned stores and outlets. It is understood that EME Myanmar normally makes investments of between US$50,000 to US$200,000 in their chosen startups, and that they are a permanent capital vehicle, thus enabling them to support their startups for much longer time periods. Besides EME Myanmar – which stands for Emerging Markets Entrepreneurs – an unidentified startup founder who is said to be quite authoritative also participated in the investment.

The e-commerce startup Ezay, which was founded by Kyaw Min Swe, an ex-employee of Myanmar’s leading online one-stop travel platform Oway, will use the fresh capital to further develop and scale its e-commerce platform’s capabilities so that it is able to better serve its users, who are wholesalers and small family-owned businesses from rural areas. Some of the areas that the startup will look into are its logistics and payments systems as the startup tinkers and makes improvements to its business model based on their increasing knowledge and grasp of the retail supply chain as well as the needs and tastes of the rural family-owned businesses and wholesalers that it serves.

According to Min Swe, Ezay has plans to scale up its operations across the rest of Myanmar once it is satisfied with how their business model performs in their key villages. With the new investment from EME Myanmar, the company is now able to accelerate that process and is currently taking a closer look at the retail supply chain so that they are able to adjust and better accommodate both the wholesalers and rural shops and outlets. Min Swe added that the e-commerce startup already has quite a few plans in mind on how best to proceed and is willing to adapt and come up with fresh, ingenious solutions to better serve their clients.

Hitoshi Ikeya, EME Myanmar’s investment director, said that the innovative startup was able to demonstrate clearly that well-implemented mobile and digital solutions can have a significant, positive impact on the rural, less-developed communities that they serve. The venture capital firm’s investment in Ezay is an affirmation of the startup’s business model’s merit and worth in bringing more rural mom-and-pop businesses and retail outlets on board the digital economy. Mr. Hitoshi also added that Min Swe is a very capable startup founder and that EME Myanmar is quite thrilled and dedicated to helping him fulfill his goal.

With Ezay’s e-commerce platform, wholesalers are able to extend their reach to a wider base of rural retail outlets and businesses and get more orders as a result. As for the rural retailers and outlets themselves, they are able to streamline the buying process by purchasing the required goods online and having them shipped to their stores the very next day for a small fee.

EME Myanmar, which works with the country’s leading businesses and organizations to help their investees acquire more customers besides providing them with customized mentorship programs, is counting on rural-focused e-commerce startup Ezay to deliver promising results for Myanmar’s rural communities. As Ezay scales its operations and expands across the country, many small family-owned businesses and retail stores will have much to gain from the plucky startup’s continued progress.

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Derek Tan

Derek is the news editor at Absolute Market, a news media focusing on the Southeast Asian tech and startup scene. Contact him at derek [at] absolutemarket.org for any news pitch.