Myanmar baby products e-tailer built by ex-Garena staff gets funding

While the Covid-19 outbreak is putting some investments on hold, Kyarlay, an ecommerce platform in Myanmar that sells and delivers baby products, announced it just secured US$750,000 in funding.

The fresh capital came from VC firm Emerging Markets Entrpreneurs (EME) and investment management firm United Managers Japan.

Photo credit: EME

Husband and wife Soe Lin Myat and Nang Mo, who both previously worked at gaming firm Garena, built Kyarlay in 2017 while expecting their first child. At that time, they realized that there was a big opportunity to make shopping for baby products in Myanmar more convenient.

“In Yangon, forgetting something as simple as milk powder can easily mean a one-hour roundtrip back to the store. We experienced this frustration and saw that we had the skills to address it,” Nang Mo shared.

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Soe Lin Myat also runs Momolay, a mobile-first entertainment app, which he launched in 2015.

Kyarlay’s two stores, which double as fulfillment centers, are open seven days a week.

The company’s app and website feature content from local pediatricians and obstetricians as well as promos and other initiatives that help parents engage with one another. According to a statement, it’s by this community that the startup learns more about their customers.

Recently, Kyarlay also rolled out its four-hour delivery service and its own branded products.

The startup now looks to open more stores, build out its delivery network, and provide additional products. “Once we can serve the whole of Yangon with competitively priced, high-quality products, then we’ll start branching out further,” Nang Mo said.

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According to a report, the ecommerce market in Myanmar is still at a nascent stage, at just US$6 million. Facebook takes up over 85% of the internet traffic, which means a lot of online shopping happens on social media. However, ecommerce startups are optimistic about the market growth, given the country’s high mobile and internet usage.

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