Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Local distiller ready for infusion of funds

Local distiller ready for infusion of funds

Bottles of Samai rum sit on a counter at the company’s Phnom Penh distillery in 2014.
Bottles of Samai rum sit on a counter at the company’s Phnom Penh distillery in 2014. Hong Menea

Local distiller ready for infusion of funds

Samai Distillery, Cambodia’s first and only rum producer, is close to securing upwards of $1 million from foreign investors to expand its business operations and production capacity, a move that could see its products sold internationally, the company said.

Daniel Pacheco, co-founder and director of Samai, said he is in late-stage discussions with a group of angel investors, and the company could soon secure a commitment for $550,000 to $700,000 in funding. He said that beyond the financial support, the investors would offer invaluable business advice for the start-up that first began producing rum in 2014.

“We are also aiming to raise another $600,000 from other individual investors to [expand] our business,” he added.

He said the first priority was to increase the production capacity of the distillery, which would require purchasing land and constructing a larger facility. As part of the company’s expansion plan, Samai rum would be marketed and exported abroad.

Pacheco said he intends to restructure the operation into a holding company with two subsidiaries, keeping the Samai brand name while operating an independent distillery. “This will allow for us to distil products for other brands, and some companies have already reached out to us expressing interest in our distillery operations,” he explained.

Steve Landman, managing partner of Lotus Fund, and one of the potential angel investors that would provide funding, said that he was optimistic that the rum’s Cambodian origin would add to its appeal in more developed consumer markets.

“The Samai brand is associated not only with helping farmers increase their income – as they source all of their ingredients locally – but also the fact that it comes from Cambodia makes it really special, especially as it is not a place that is known for producing rum, like in the Caribbean,” he said.

Landman, a member of the Mekong Angel Investor Network (MAIN), noted that the Cambodian rum distillery has raised a lot of interest from other investors he spoke to who are seeking a return on their capital commitments.

“Everyone has been really excited in the brand, even people who did not meet [Samai] directly,” he said.

“Premium spirits are increasing in demand and becoming really popular and I’m hoping to get the deal done by this year.”

MOST VIEWED

  • PM imposes nationwide Covid restrictions, curfew over Delta scare

    Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28 instructed the municipal and provincial authorities nationwide to strictly enforce Covid-19 measures including curfew for two weeks from July 29 midnight through August 12 to stem the new coronavirus Delta variant. The instruction came shortly after he issued a directive

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Provinces on Thai borders put in lockdown amid Delta fears

    The government has decided to place several border provinces in lockdown for two weeks in a bid to prevent the new coronavirus Delta variant spreading further into community. According a directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen late on July 28, the provinces include Koh Kong,

  • Delta spreading in Kingdom

    Cambodia has so far detected more than 200 cases of the highly contagious coronavirus Delta variant, with 109 found on July 31 and August 1. The Ministry of Health has expressed deep concerns that the variant may have already reached communities and be spreading as some of the cases

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four

  • US' Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines arrive

    The first batch of 455,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine donated by the US touched down in Phnom Penh on the morning of July 30. They are part of the total 1,060,100 doses the US has pledged to provide to Cambodia through the World Health Organisation-led (