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

  • Woman detained for murder of hairdresser over unpaid $1K debt

    A woman has been held in connection with the murder of a 40-year-old widow. The victim’s daughter claims the motive was the suspect’s unpaid four million riel ($1,000) debt to her mother. The 17-year-old girl, Pich Sievmey, said her mother, Koem Yaneang, a hairdresser

  • ‘Life goes on’ if Cambodia loses Everything But Arms

    Cambodia's business sector is exploring ways to mitigate any fallout from a possible loss of access to the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement as talks continue before the 28-member bloc makes a final decision. The EU monitoring process is set to conclude in

  • Nesat beach: A magnet drawing tourists to the Kingdom’s coastline

    A white sandy beach lined by countless coconut trees awaits travellers off Cambodia’s southwest coast in Koh Kong province’s Srae Ambel district, about 170km from Phnom Penh. Over the past few years Nesat beach – a name inspired by a nearby fishing village – has

  • PM: Workers must train for Industry 4.0

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has urged the Kingdom’s workforce to seek more technical training and strengthen their skills if they are to avoid job losses resulting from the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Hun Sen said the fourth industrial revolution is like a double-edged sword that