Leading startup accelerator-cum-seed fund 500 Startups has made an entry into Myanmar, with an investment in local language search engine Bindez.
The size of the deal remains undisclosed.
“The funds will be utilised to develop the team and product offering further, and continue to grow our value proposition and user base through 2016,” Bindez Co-founder and CEO Rahul Batra told e27.
This is Bindez’s third pre-Series A round. After a seed round in early 2014, it received two angel funding rounds — in late 2014 and early 2015.
Till date, the Yangon-based startup has raised over US$500,000,
Bindez was founded in 2013 by former Googler Batra, along with techies Yewint Ko and Htet Will. Its first product Bindez Tha Din, a news discovery app for Android, was released in June 2015.
The startup’s new product aggregates the latest Burmese language news articles from reliable sources in Myanmar. The app will soon come out of beta and is due for public release soon.
“We are focussed entirely on the Burmese user and Myanmar demographic for now, but will look to partner with similar search and media tech teams in other countries in the long run, depending on the evolution of our technology and products,” Batra said.
Bindez has partnered with telecom operator Ooredoo and device manufacturers and distributors, besides content hubs to bring the product to over 50,000 users in the country. So far, it has rolled out key information features related to the devastating Myanmar floods in July 2015 and the historic general elections in November 2015, drawing high engagement and public attention.
Khailee Ng, Managing Partner of 500 Startups, said: “In most parts of the world, Internet platforms like Facebook or Google are dominant. But in Myanmar, we see Bindez offering a locally developed, alternative way of consuming real-time, relevant information.”