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: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub

  • Hun Sen: Don’t react to hostility

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged tolerance and thanked members of the Cambodian diaspora for not reacting to the hostility on display towards him by others while he was in the US to attend the May 12-13 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC. In an audio