Bagan Innovation Technology has announced a milestone series-B investment round of seven figures led by Kyuu Roku Inc. UMJ Ikeya Investment, an existing shareholder and Hotto Link Inc, the largest social data provider in Japan, listed on the Japan’s stock exchange, also participated the round.
Bagan Innovation Technology (BIT) is the company behind Myanmar’s leading digital mobile content products which include “Wun Zinn” (e-book store and web series); “Min Thein Kha” (a mobile astrologer marketplace); “Frozen” and “Bagan” mobile keyboards with full automatic speech recognition for the Burmese language; and, most recently, BI Miner, a social listening tool which provides sentiment analysis to Myanmar’s leading corporates.
Myanmar is often last on the list when investors consider Southeast Asian tech startups, with Indonesia leading and recent excitement echoing from Viet Nam. However, with BIT, Myanmar truly has its very own leading technology startup using cutting edge technology to bring value to customers and insights to businesses.
Working with leading global language experts, and processing more than 10 billion words a week, BIT has been able to create automatic speech recognition of the Burmese tonal language. BI Miner, BIT’s social listener is able to analyse text online and provide detailed sentiment analysis, providing codified big data to their clients. They’ve also developed Therapa,ai social commerce chat bot that can quickly take enquiries, check stock and complete orders. BIT combine their products to help business of all sizes sell more effectively – something that Myanmar sorely needs as it catches up to SEA for online commerce.
BIT’s advantage comes not just from leading technology, but also from understanding the Myanmar consumer. The company’s astrologer marketplace has grown 7X in revenues last year and BIT’s digital content business has grown over 2x. Serialized online web novels is the most popular content type and BIT is already working with over one hundred writers for daily serialized content. BIT is currently taking every effort as the market leader to expand the online literature (serialized web novels) culture and market by investing in content, writers, readers and the community, as reading continues to be very popular in Myanmar and more and more people are staying at home with limited availability of local entertainment.
This new round brings in strategic investors, including Kyuu Roku Inc., an investment holding arm founded by Seiji Kurokoshi, who has several investments in Myanmar and whose company Digi Search specialises in helping companies go direct to consumer; and Hotto Link who are themselves the leading social listening company in Japan. These new investors clearly see value in investing in the tech space in Myanmar, a country with more than 50m people, mobile phone ownership if 101% and where 85% of all internet traffic is on smartphones. The total funding will support BIT to continue investing in growth of its core products while ensuring that its technology remains the global leader for the Burmese language. BIT plans to double its astrologer marketplace revenues in 2020 while doubling down on its extremely popular serialised novel web series.
Kyuu Roku Inc. founder, Seiji Kurokoshi noted, “companies like BIT are hard to come by but when you find them you just know you’ve found something exceptional. Thet Lynn Han and his team have proven that they understand the consumer better than anyone and in today’s age that plus technological finesse can take you a long way and unlock untapped potential in Myanmar’s frontier market”.