Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - First three winners of Smart Axiata fund announced

First three winners of Smart Axiata fund announced

Smart Axiata CEO Thomas Hundt speaks at an event yesterday in Phnom Penh.
Smart Axiata CEO Thomas Hundt speaks at an event yesterday in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

First three winners of Smart Axiata fund announced

The first three recipients of funding from the Smart Axiata Digital Innovation Fund (SADIF), a $5 million venture capital fund committed to digital service companies and startups, were announced yesterday, while Smart also welcomed Forte Insurance (Cambodia) Plc as a co-investor in the fund.

Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart Axiata, said at an event yesterday that Joonaak Delivery, Morakot Technologies and Aniwaa 3D-printing were the first recipients of the fund. However, neither the amounts awarded to the companies nor the injection of capital by Forte into the fund were announced.

“Mekong Strategic Partners have screened the market [for Smart to verify the most viable candidates for funding], and it is remarkable to present the first three,” Hundt said. “For sure there will be more investees announced soon.”

Leakhena Long, from Joonaak Delivery, a company she co-founded, said that the fund would help expand business operations. Launched in 2014, Joonaak specialises in providing logistical and delivery support for online shops.

“So far, we have been in business over two years and have delivered 69,500 packages,” she said. “We are excited we got selected to be one of the [SADIF] investees, and with the prize we are introducing our new mobile application for our clients.”

Ripe for growth
Speaking on behalf of Morakot Technologies, co-founder Sophorth Khuon explained how the cloud-based banking platform, launched just over two years ago, had already grown to service 26,000 clients with a collective portfolio of around $85 million.

Martin Lansard, CEO of Aniwaa, said he had only just received word of being awarded funding yesterday morning. His company, which has been based in Cambodia since 2014, is one of the most encompassing comparison websites for 3D printers in the world.

“With this equity partnership, we will be in a stronger position to build a world-class content team,” he said. “We will also strengthen our sites and rich database capabilities.”

Kem Bora, investment manager for Mekong Strategic Partners, said that the fund was being used to identify businesses that are ripe for growth and can have an immediate positive impact.

“The three who made the cut this round are well-positioned to go to the next level,” he said.

The Smart innovation fund was launched in March of this year, with Mekong Strategic Partners as part of the investment committee, and aims to invest in at least 15 companies over five years.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol

  • Ministry to 'seek justice' for officials indicted in US for 'monkey smuggling'

    The Cambodian government and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said they will make the “utmost effort” to seek justice for a Cambodian official arrested in John F Kennedy International Airport in New York for allegedly conspiring to smuggle crab-eating macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis)

  • Takeo hand-woven silk items provide local high-quality alternative to imports

    After graduating from university and beginning her career as a civil servant at the the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Khieu Sina found time to establish a business that aligns with her true passion – quality hand-woven Khmer goods. Her product line, known as Banteay Srei,