Yoma to acquire 34% stake in Digital Money Myanmar

Yoma Strategic Holdings is set to acquire a 34 per cent stake in mobile payments platform Digital Money Myanmar (Wave Money), from First Myanmar Investment Company.

The transaction was worth $19.4m, with the company valuation around $57m.

Following the transaction, Telenor will hold a 51 per cent stake in Wave Money, Yoma Strategic 34 per cent, First Myanmar Investment 10 per cent and Yoma Bank will hold a 5 per cent share.

Wave Money aims to improve financial inclusion through its mobile payments solution which supports sending and receiving of money on a retail or individual basis. The platform, which serves 1.3 million consumers, provides users with a digital account to send and receive money from anywhere.

In 2016, the company was the first company to be licensed under Central Bank of Myanmar’s Mobile Financial Services Regulation to offer mobile financial services within the country, according to the company.

Singapore-based Yoma operates a diverse portfolio of businesses across the real estate, consumer, automotive and heavy equipment, and investments industries in Myanmar.

Through the acquisition, Yoma hopes to support its expansion in to the financial services sector by leveraging Wave Money’s network. The company is also looking for future partnerships with other companies, and plans are set to move in to automotive and consumer businesses as well.

Wave Money CEO Brad Jones said, “The hyper-growth we are seeing shows Myanmar is no exception to the pervasiveness of mobile money in developing markets.”

Over the past year, Wave Money has seen revenue grow at a compounded monthly rate of 22 per cent and transaction increase 31 per cent. In January 2018, the company’s YoY revenue has grown by 1130 per cent, while transactions are up 2639 per cent.

Yoma Strategic CEO Melvyn Pun said, “The timing of the acquisition is right as the business is now coming out of its incubation phase. The strong monthly growth, which has accelerated in the last few months, demonstrates the momentum of Wave Money’s operations and the value proposition of its business.”

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