Innoveller drives digitisation of express bus industry in Myanmar

DOMESTIC travellers in Myanmar no longer need to queue up at the bus stations for their tickets thanks to an innovative back-end infrastructure network developed by three young technicians who returned to Myanmar to establish Innoveller Co after studying and working overseas for years.

Kyaw Kyaw Win, co-founder and chief executive of Innoveller Co, known for its front-end platform MM Bus Tickets, said in an exclusive interview that the company’s digital base is now ready to serve the nation’s express bus industry as a whole, as it moves to the next level after four years of operations. “We have formed partnerships with the majority of express bus operators in Myanmar, serving nearly one million inventories [available seats] per month on more than 150 routes across the country,” he said. “On our digital platform, passengers can freely choose their preferred seats from nearly 700 journeys per day. They no longer need to go to ticket sales centres, but can easily buy a ticket in less than five minutes.”

Kyaw Kyaw Win takes pride in the company’s achievements within a short period of time. Even in the low season when less people travel, more than 700,000 seats are occupied every month. The company enjoys higher growth than expected with an average of nearly 5,000 transactions per month. Earlier this year, the company secured a six-digit investment in Series A funding from BOD Tech Ventures, a Myanmar-based venture capital firm. Post-funding, Innoveller Co was valued at a seven-digit figure in US dollars and expanded its workforce to over 20 employees. It also hopes to launch a mobile application later this year. “Funding is really important as we are trying to embark on B2C [business to consumer] platform soon. Currently, we mainly focus on B2B [business to business]. In order to ensure our expansion plans go well, we have spent a couple of months to establish the back-end infrastructure, which would digitally transform the whole industry,” he said.Instant-seating plan “All the express bus services in Myanmar must be digitised to facilitate the instant-seating plan for every passenger. This means they all need to invest a lot in infrastructure and digital transformation. With our front-end product, MM Bus Tickets, we are now ready to help them grow further, ensuring cost-effectiveness and operational efficiency as well as reducing discrepancies for the tickets sold.” Kyaw Kyaw Win considers consumers’ behaviour and over-dependence on cash as the main challenge for the growth of his company as well as the whole industry. He believes that changes in people’s mindset and behaviour could help Myanmar leapfrog in terms of technology. In this regard, the company has partnered with a number of mobile financial services and digital payment companies to ensure that payment for ticket sales on their website can be collected through different channels, including Visa, MasterCard, Myanmar Payment Union, CB Pay and Wave Money. “E-wallets are widely available here but people usually do not use them because there are only a few products. Many people in Myanmar mainly use e-wallets for three purposes: transactions, bill payments and mobile top-ups,” he said. “For the industry to grow further, we need to make sure more products are available on e-wallets. That is why we are trying to integrate our product into major e-wallets to reach out everywhere in the country.” He said the company’s growth would largely depend on that of Myanmar’s bus industry and the financial sector. He urged companies to invest in the establishment of back-end systems for digital transformation by upgrading the infrastructure and making it compatible and integrated with the latest technology.

Source: The Nations

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