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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Funding to drive CamboTicket expansion

Funding to drive CamboTicket expansion

Local tech startup CamboTicket is looking to take its proprietary bus ticket booking platform to other countries in the region after receiving $100,000 in seed funding, a company executive said yesterday.

The firm has received early-stage funding from Cambodia-based venture capital and project management firm OBOR Capital, Shivam Tripathi, co-founder of CamboTicket, told The Post. He said the company was set to receive an additional $50,000 to $100,000 from OBOR at a later stage depending on performance, while it was also in discussions with several international investors.

Tripathi, who also serves as OBOR’s managing director, said this was the first outside investment CamboTicket has received. He said the funds would be used to improve the platform and to diversify its revenue base – steps aimed at positioning the firm as a player in the regional transportation market.

“The idea is to improve the existing products and technology that we have in terms of the way it handles bookings, the way we handle backend operations and the way we do reports,” he said.

The funding will also be used for marketing and improving brand awareness, particularly to draw in greater number of local Cambodian users, he explained.

Tripathi added that the technological aspects of the business was where the company could compete with larger players in other countries, with the firm looking to Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam as initial locations for expansion.

“I think that although there is regional competition, we have a competitive edge on some points and we know that many operators, not just in Cambodia but also in the region do not have proper technologies,” he said.

“That gives us a good access into the market.”Currently, CamboTicket competes for the Cambodian market with another local platform, BookMeBus.

However, Tripathi explained that the two companies should not be compared to each other in the context of the local market, but rather should be looked at in terms of their success on the regional stage.

“The way I see it, BookMeBus and CamboTicket both are at a very early stage right now, so the main competition is going to come from other big players in the region,” he said.

David Totten, director of Emerging Markets Consulting, said the possibilities for growth of the two local ticketing platforms remain very big, especially as more Cambodians start using the services.

“The ticketing market in which CamboTicket and BookMeBus operate is broadly limited by the adoption of cashless payment systems while the market for independent travel is mostly limited to backpackers and a small segment of the Cambodian population,” he said.

“So there’s clearly a huge scope for growth with rising tourism numbers and more cashless transactions.”

There is also an opportunity to increase revenue by offering consumers a broader range of ticketing services, such as flights, trains and sightseeing packages, he added.

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