Myanmar: Social media site Momolay secures $200k seed round from Singaporean investors
Oct 27, 2015
October 27, 2015:
Myanmarese social media portal Momolay has secured a seed round of US$200,000 from Singapore investors. The frontier market, with an estimated population of up to 60 million, is largely untapped and has consumers just starting to adopt mobile services. Currently, Internet penetration stands at only around 1 per cent of the population but is expected to grow. Launched by Soe Lin Myat in February 2015, Momolay is a mobile-first entertainment app focusing on light content. Tech in Asia reported that the money, raised from Singaporean investors, will be used to expand its team and form partnerships with content publishers in Myanmar. In a statement to Tech in Asia, Soe explained: “When we look at the app landscape in Myanmar, we don’t really have a lot of choices. After Facebook, there is not much venue for Myanmar’s people to get entertainment online. At the international level, there’s 9Gag and Buzzfeed. So we decided to create an app that combines both.”
With a first-mover advantage in a relatively uncontested operating terrain, the only other potential competitor to Momolay in Myanmar is Bindez , which is focused on news, rather than light content like lifestyle and entertainment news. According to official statements, while Momolay has its own content team, they plan to “partner with external publishers to provide users with a wide range of content that they will love”, in reference to their users. The post-money valuation of the company stands at $1.2 million. According to Tech in Asia, this grants it a year of runway to progress to its next growth stage, with its Android mobile app being prioritised and its monetisation model being evolved. The next stage of Momolay’s growth is likely to see Momolay expand its presence and make inroads into other frontier markets like Bangladesh, Laos, and Cambodia, given that these markets have a relative lack of similar products and services. Excepting Bangladesh, these markets shares common heritage shaped by Buddhist and Hindu culture. Their geographic proximity to, as well as cultural familiarity with the aforementioned nations, means that Momolay can leverage on these to expand their operations as their venture scales and reaches maturity in Myanmar.