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Oz nonprofit buys stake in local startup Spean Luy

An employee checks a customer’s deposit at a bank in Phnom Penh in 2015.
An employee checks a customer’s deposit at a bank in Phnom Penh in 2015. Pha Lina

Oz nonprofit buys stake in local startup Spean Luy

Australia’s Good Return, a nonprofit organisation that promotes financial inclusion and responsible lending, has purchased a 5 percent stake in Spean Luy, a startup online platform that allows users to compare interest rates offered on loan products across various Cambodian lenders.

“Good Return is passionate about enabling Cambodians access to the financial services they need, and helping them to navigate that journey,” said Shane Nichols, CEO of Good Return.

“The best way to assist people to make good financial choices is to support them at the time they are making choices, and that’s where Spean Luy comes in.”

Nichols noted that Good Return decided to invest in the startup due to its rapid entry into the market, as since February of this year it has already partnered with seven local commercial banks and microfinance institutions and now facilitates on average 100 loans per week.

Yuta Nagano, founder of Spean Luy, admitted that while there has been difficulty in finding financial institutions willing to partner with the platform, Good Return’s commitment will help the start-up gain a larger user base.

“We don’t just want to compare products, we aim to educate Cambodian people,” he said.

“It’s not only about access to finances, but about helping people make decisions for a better life.”

While he declined to provide a number for the 5 percent stake sale, he added that Spean Luy’s free financial services have grown beyond just comparing loan interest rates to including information on savings accounts, credit cards, insurance products and money transfer providers.

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