Anthem Asia, an independent investment and advisory group building businesses in Myanmar, has invested in a new Yangon-based PR and digital marketing agency, the company said.
Anthem Asia has taken a significant equity stake and is providing working capital for Blink, a start-up headed by a group of entrepreneurs led by local TV presenter Stephen Kyaw and digital specialist Erik Oo.
The total size of the investment is a “modest” six-figure sum in this phase, Anthem Asia said in a statement.
Anthem Asia has a large minority interest in Blink; Stephen Kyaw, Erik Oo and two other principals of Blink will hold the remainder.
“Marketing and communications is a business services sector where well-run domestic brands can match the best international competitors,” Josephine Price, co-founder and managing director of Anthem Asia, said.
“With a population estimated at more than 60 million people, the demand for locally-based marketing and communications expertise will become more important as Myanmar becomes a significant Southeast Asian market in the coming years,” she said.
Price added: “The Blink team represents the future of the new Myanmar – young, smart, energetic with bags of ambition.”
Blink became Anthem Asia’s second communications-related business as the firm earlier established Zagar Communications to provide marketing and communications services for foreign clients and third-party PR agencies based outside the country.
The company’s other investments include Hintha Business Centres, an office and business services provider, which opened in September last year in downtown Yangon. Subsequently, Anthem Asia has invested in Thahara, a marketing and management platform offering access to small, unique properties across Myanmar.
Anthem Asia was co-founded by Josephine Price and Genevieve Heng, both of whom have investment and private equity experience growing companies in emerging Asian markets.
The firm focuses on opportunities requiring first phase investments of between $100,000 and about $1.5 million.
Many small- and medium-sized businesses could not effectively absorb greater initial quantities of capital, while many require expertise and advice more than capital, the firm said.