Ascent Capital Partners, a Myanmar- focused private equity firm based in Singapore has managed to close its first deal in the country, leading a US$26 million minority investment in Frontiir, an internet service provider.
Frontier, based in Yangon,Myanmar is a fast- growing licensed Internet Service Provider delivering high quality and reliable connectivity series for enterprises. The firm also provides affordable high- quality in- home broadband servicers for its consumers. Frontiir innovates and designs its own network infrastructure solutions including its unique wireless last-mile solutions.
The investment was made through Ascent Myanmar Growth Fund I (AMGF). Ascent Capital’s debut fund has attracted the Asian Development Bank and Singapore’s state investor Temasek as limited partners.
Ascent Capital is an independent fund management company registered with the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The firm manages a Myanmar-focused investment fund, and has offices in Singapore and Yangon, Myanmar (operated by ACP Management Company Ltd.) and is the only Singapore registered fund management company of its kind.
“The telecom, media and technology (TMT) sector is part of our focus, and this landmark investment is driven by our belief that internet access is an essential service which can improve lives, reduce inequalities and drive economic growth, especially in emerging markets like Myanmar,” commented Lim Chong Chong, founder and managing partner of Ascent Capital.
The firm is a believer in Myanmar’s immense growth potential, and is dedicated to supporting, investing and building businesses for the long term, whilst supporting socio-economic development. In addition to playing a critical supporting role in building the foundation of Myanmar’s companies for sustainable long-term growth, the firm also aims to elevate these companies to international standards, measured in superior shareholder value and in meeting ESG objectives.
In a statement said by the general partner, an additional fund from its Ascent CSR Fund will be set aside, which is separate from AMGF’s investment in Frontiir. This is to help mitigate the economic impact of the Covid- 19 pandemic in Myanmar.
Through Frontiir, the CSR funding will focus on improving gender inclusiveness, ensuring equitable access to quality education and expanding the company’s vision to bridge the digital divide in Myanmar.
“AMGF’s investment, along with the additional CSR fund, are timely and can provide the stimulus needed to increase access to affordable internet especially in lower-income regions of the country,” added Wai Lin Tun, Frontiir’s chairman and CEO.
Frontiir has provided Internet services to 1.6 million users in over 360,000 households across four states and regions of Myanmar, including Yangon, Mandalay, Mawlamyaing and Bago.
Set up in 2018, AMFG claims it is the world’s largest Myanmar- focused private equity fund. Ascent Capital initially targeted to raise up to US$100 million for its debut vehicle.
Currently, AMGF is looking to invest at least US$5 million in companies in the consumer, education, financial services, healthcare, logistic and TMT sectors.