A local representative of controversial online start-up incubator Rocket Internet said the company would invest in Cambodia as it launched a new online retail store yesterday, in what market insiders call a trend toward increasing e-commerce in the Kingdom.
The site, shop.com.kh is offered in Khmer and English and currently sells electronics such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets.
But it planned to expand by offering goods such as baby products Karl Seilern, the co-founder of Rocket Internet’s Cambodian branch, said.
Cash was paid on delivery and delivery was on the same day, Seilern said.
The German-owned online incubator is well known for its aggressive cloning of American sites and re-launching them in European and Asian markets. The company has cloned sites such as eBay, Groupon and Amazon.
Opinion is divided about the ethics of such businessses, but its success is undeniable.
The company operated in most ASEAN and Asian markets and had recently begun operations in Myanmar, Seilern said.
Cambodia’s strong growth in internet usage, thought to be in double digits, and little competition in the e-commerce market were driving factors behind the move into the Kingdom, he said.
“Most e-commerce sites in Cambodia are customer-to-customer; I don’t know of any business-to-customer online store here,” he said.
The company would invest in the Kingdom but did not expect to start making a profit for a number of years, Seilern said.
Growth in internet usage was 1.2 per cent a week, he said, adding that he would guess internet penetration to be about six per cent.
The company plans to offer delivery in Seam Reap and Sihanoukville within the next few months, he said.
E-commerce was already popular in the Kingdom, with 20,000 new listings on Khmer24 (a customer-to-customer sales website) each day, general manager Ty Rady said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Abe Becker at [email protected]