Myanmar Ride-Hailing Startup Oway raises US$14.7 million for Business Expansion



13/4/2018 – Myanmar’s ride-hailing and travel startup Oway has recently secured US$14.7 million in its latest funding round intended for business expansion.

Investors in Oway’s round included Daiwa PI Partners, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Belt Road Investment Group, NSI Ventures, and Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar Development Fund II LP, a fund under EMIA.

For Daiwa PI Partners, a subsidiary of Japan’s Daiwa Securities Group, Oway is its second private equity investment in Myanmar, after internet service provider Frontiir.

The company has taken a US$5 million stake in Oway, and expects demand for both online travel and ride-hailing services in Myanmar to soar on the back of growing middle-class affluence and changing lifestyles and aspirations.

Oway is founded in 2012 by Nay Aung, a Myanmar national who had previously worked at Google and Blue Lithium. Based in Yangon, the startup began by offering online travel services but later ventured into the ride-hailing business in 2017.

In November 2017, the startup has also become the first licensee of three-wheeler taxi-hailing operator in Mandalay.

Using the capital from this latest round of investment, Oway aims to expand its service network in other areas as well as the further expansion their range of services.

For now, Oway is now gearing up to launch its mobile application which will initially focus on flight reservations and later branch out into hotels and other services. The firm also plans to release a digital payments solution, Oway Pay which is alated in the next few months.

Oway had last raised a US$10 million investment in 2016 from EMIA, IFC, and Northstar Group, which also backs Indonesia’s ride-hailing major Go-Jek.

Ballarpur Industries sells Malaysian arm Sabah Forest for US$310 million

Ballapur Industries, Sabah Forest
Ballarpur Industries sells Malaysian arm Sabah Forest for US$310 million

Ballapur Industries, Sabah Forest

9/4/2018 – India’s largest manufacturer of writing and printing paper has recently forged an agreement to sell its Malaysian unit Sabah Forest Industries to Pelangi Prestasi Sdn Bhd for MYR1.2 billion (about US$310 million).

The agreement was signed on Wednesday, April 4th, and involves Sabah Forest’s entire assets including the procurement of fresh timber licenses from the state’s government of Sabah.

According to Ballarpur, the buyer has already deposited 10 percent of the total consideration in cash while still awaiting the necessary corporate and regulatory approvals, including appropriate court orders of the High Court of Sabah & Sarawak, Malaysia.

Pelangi Prestasi is a unit of Albukhary Group which operates in banking, seaport, e-commerce, construction, engineering, book retail, sugar, palm oil plantations, and airport management sectors.

Sabah Forest Industries is one of Malaysia’s largest timber growers and wood processors. It manages a forest estate totaling 288,000 hectares, pulp and paper manufacturing facilities, as well as an integrated timber complex consisting of a sawmill and a veneer and plywood factory.

Ballarpur acquired Sabah Forest in 2007 for US$261 million, making the first overseas acquisition by an Indian paper company. It began its attempts to sell its Malaysian forest unit in 2016 with Pandawa Sakti but the deal did not push through.

Ballarpur is part of the Avantha Group, which is one of India’s leading business conglomerates with interests in diverse sectors including power transmission and distribution equipment and services, paper and pulp, energy and infrastructure, food processing, forestry, chemicals, ITs, and ITeS.

Shares of Ballarpur Industries increased to 12 percent intraday Friday as the company was going to sell Sabah Forest Industries Sdn Bhd.