Amplify Startup Spotlight: z-Waka

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Amplify alumni Z-waka is a Myanmar-based SaaS productivity tool that enables doctors in developing countries to efficiently manage their clinics, collaborates with other healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical companies to provide affordable high-quality healthcare.

  • Accelerating Asia is supporting Z-Waka's current fundraising round in partnership with ANGIN under the Frontiers Lab Asia program, an incubator initiative supported by the Australian Government.
  • They are raising US $500k to reach 20x subscription growth by 2022.
  • Request more information about this deal.

Who are you are and what you do?

So, my name is Dr Aung and I'm one of the founders of z-Waka. I'm actually half Swiss and half Myanmar, I grew up in Switzerland, was educated there and working the financial industry.

I became a serial entrepreneur and last year I co-founded Z-waka with my Co-Founder Dr Khine.

Z-Waka is a healthtech company.

Initially, we were working only on Myanmar but now, we are expanding to other markets. We started z-Waka because when I moved back from Switzerland to Myanmar in 2021, it was all about the impact. I wanted to be a driving force and bring back my knowledge, my education, training, and to help people in Asia.  

Previously, I worked together with a company Seedstars, which is a Swiss-based venture builder, and we were doing a couple of incubators in Myanmar.

And I discussed with my now Co-founder who is a medical doctor a number of years ago on how can we improve healthcare in Myanmar. We put a lot of thought into it, but initially was just discussions.

Then just over one year ago, we said, ok, let's make it happen with z-Waka. We believe that the impact in healthcare can be so big when we apply technology so that was the reason why we started.

Can you tell me a little bit about Z-Waka and what you do?

Z-Waka is basically a practice management SaaS.

We are amplifying the capacity of doctors in the developing world. We do this by giving them productivity tools, connecting them to an ecosystem of specialists and pharma companies. So, we embed them into an ecosystem.

We believe very much the key to leapfrog healthcare in the developing world is by enabling and empowering the small to medium clinics that are around in the developing world.

Can you tell us a little bit more about the product and what makes it different?

It’s a practice management solution so it's really for small to medium-sized clinics in, developing countries. We make it very, super simple.

The big US based solutions have electronic health record systems and practice management solutions. They don't fit here in the developing world, they're just really too complicated and they impose too many things and a doctor here in Myanmar, Vietnam, Bangladesh they see 50-100 patients a day and they cannot do the same things as a doctor in the US would do.

We try to really make things more productive for doctors so that that they lose less time. We also embed them into an ecosystem that can provide support, make them feel less alone. And we bring more capacity to their practice by enabling them to talk to their peers and specialists quicker and there are cases where they don’t need to send their patients to the specialist anymore. The Specialist knowledge comes to their clinic.

What have you focused on in your first year of z-Waka?

In the last 6-12 months, we have done extensive testing of our product and our business model. We tried many things, we tested it, we also rejected a lot of things that didn't work.

At the beginning we were doing too many things, we got more and more focused. We are now on the right track and the model that we developed will work, not only in Myanmar also in other countries like Thailand Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh. That's what we're trying to do over the next six to 12 months, we want to adopt this model and um bring it to other markets as well.

Are you currently fundraising?

We will officially start fundraising in August and are looking to raise a minimum of $300k-$500k.

But since joining the Tech in Asia Pitch Night, we have been contacted by a number of angel investors, so we are taking opportunities to connect with investors.

We are also in talking to of our clients which is a big pharma company that is distributing regionally, and they have been working with us already now for over one year and they showed interest to invest into our business because they know us quite well, they know how we work.

Why did you decide to join Amplify?

My Co-founder and I, we are very passionate about the whole topic if entrepreneurship and we read a lot, we watched a lot of videos.

We have gone through programs and videos, for example Y Combinator and when you read a lot, it’s good to learn from others, who have gone the path before. I think it's just a matter of time until you come other across the Accelerating Asia programs and Amplify.

We came across it, we studied it and we thought it would be quite a good fit for us.

What were you hoping to get out of Amplify?

One thing is that we wanted to be more structured and I think the program helped us really get more structure into our startup. So, within a short time you visit a lot of topics - What about your product? What about the distribution model? How about pitching to investors?

Amplify helped us to take a step back from our day-to-day business and look at things with fresh eyes again.

The second aspect is commitment. Once you participate in the program, you don't move things anymore. If you just do it yourself and say, okay this you could do it next week. This might be less important but when you are in the program, you're committed.

The third thing is of course the interaction with the Amplify people, so that's really powerful.

The founders and team of Accelerating Asia. It was amazing that we got within such a program access to them and even got the feedbacks from entrepreneurs on our pitches.  

We talked to the team, and we could really feel this were people who did their own startups who exited, they know what they're talking about. It's not just some people who were investors, but never worked in a startup.

So, this helped a lot and also I think the discussions with our peers helped a lot.

How did Amplify change your approach to your startup?

We really liked a lot was the module on storytelling. That was amazing because in a way stories are really the operating system of how our brains work and if you listen to someone, you are much more focused.

Storytelling can be such a, such a strong tool, such a strong instrument, when talking to not only investors to anyone whom you want to explain what you're doing.

That was really very good module and we were having a lot of fun. When we talked about storytelling, we were talking about the Star Wars stories.

It’s not only just, you know, learning and facts but it's about having fun in the Amplify program.

Why would you recommend Amplified to a fellow founder?

It was really good match for us because the program is very dense very within a short time so it's not like a program have to commit where you for many months.

So, it's short, it's affordable.

I think the price is more than fair that you're charging for the Amplify program.

Compared to an accelerator program, for example, you don't give up any equity within Amplify. It's also a very good outlet to study if you’re considering an accelerator, you can study there quite well would you be a good, fit match with the program and with the accelerator. I think this is really a period where you can learn about each other.  

I would personally recommend participating the program.

z-Waka was part of Amplify, our 6 module program that delivers a how-to guide to raising outside capital and 10x’ing your startup growth. Doors are now open to join Amplify. If you are interested in connecting with z-Waka please reach out to us and we can help facilitate an introduction.


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