Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Digital start-up raises $300K

Digital start-up raises $300K

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A financial institution employee counts hundred-dollar bills. Digicro says it has raised $300,000 in seed capital from Showcase Capital to help them develop their microloan service mobile app. Heng Chivoan

Digital start-up raises $300K

Cambodia-based digital microfinance start-up Digicro Pte Ltd has raised $300,000 in seed capital from the Tokyo-headquartered Showcase Capital Co Ltd which will help them develop their microloan service mobile application, according to an announcement from the firm.

The microloan service, provided through the mobile application Spean Loan, is developed by Spean Luy Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Digicro. The firm was founded by Yuta Nagano last year, who also runs a financial comparison site Spean Luy which allows users to compare interest rates offered on loan products across various Cambodian lenders.

‘Serve those underserved’

Nagano said more than 60 per cent of Cambodians have access to internet but many of them still cannot get a loan because they have lack official documents or collateral to provide, or they live in a remote area where banks don’t operate.

“Our team developed Spean Loan to serve those underserved through our app. The instant approval will help micro entrepreneurs get their daily working capital and people who need emergency funds,” he said.

The app will enable borrowers to apply for small loans ranging from $50 up to $1,000 without paperwork or an office visit. Spean Loan uses machine learning to build a credit scoring system and evaluate a client’s ability to repay.

Despite getting $300,000 in seed capital from Showcase Capital, the start-up is awaiting regulatory approval before launching the app.

A representative from the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) – the Kingdom’s central bank – could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

Financial technology (fintech) start-ups are still at a nascent stage in Cambodia. The first fintech organisation in the country, the Cambodia Fintech Association, was established in August last year in anticipation of a boom in phone-based monetary services.

Cambodian fintech start-up Clik announced in November that it has raised $2 million in seed funding led by Limestone Technology and OpenWay, along with several angel investors from the Kingdom’s retail sector.

The company expects to launch operations in the second quarter of this year as soon as it receives a Payment Service Provider licence from NBC.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen defends decision to dock Westerdam cruise ship

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday hit back at critics who say he allowed the Westerdam cruise ship to dock in Sihanoukville for political reasons. Speaking at an annual gathering of the Ministry of Interior, Hun Sen said he acted to avert a humanitarian catastrophe

  • Hun Sen asks Cambodians to believe in government

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday asked citizens and investors to trust that the government will overcome the challenges brought about by Covid-19 and the loss of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme. Speaking to reporters at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh,

  • Westerdam passenger ‘never had’ Covid-19

    The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the US citizen that allegedly tested positive in Malaysia after travelling on the Westerdam was never infected with Covid-19 in the first place. In an article published in the newspaper USA Today on Friday, CDC

  • ‘Ghost staff’ found, $1.7M returned to state coffers

    The Ministry of Civil Service said more than seven billion riel ($1.7 million) in salaries for civil servants was returned to the state last year after it discovered that the books had been cooked to pay ‘ghost officials’. This is despite claims by the Ministry of

  • Woman wanted for killing own son

    Police in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district are on the lookout for a woman who allegedly hacked her son to death on Sunday in Stung Meanchey III commune. District police chief Meng Vimeandara identified the son as Chan Sokhom, 32. “The offender can’t escape forever.

  • Malaysia in turmoil

    Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has done it again. At the centre of two days of high drama and political manoeuvring, he has, wittingly or not, contributed to shaking Malaysia, and further causing its equities market to fall nearly three per cent. The drama