Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Smart Axiata Digital Innovation Fund invests in local BanhJi, Thai-based DRVR

Smart Axiata Digital Innovation Fund invests in local BanhJi, Thai-based DRVR

Smart Axiata Digital Innovation Fund invests in local BanhJi, Thai-based DRVR

Tech start-ups BanhJi FinTech Co Ltd and Driver Design Studio Ltd (DRVR) on December 16 bagged an investment fund from the Smart Axiata Digital Innovation Fund (SADIF) to further expand their businesses and meet the needs of their customers, SADIF said in a press release.

Local firm BanhJi is a financial platform for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) while the Thai-based DRVR is a fleet analytics software provider for logistics and passenger vehicles.

SADIF is a $5 million venture capital fund that focuses exclusively on digital firms. Managed by Mekong Strategic Partners Co Ltd (MSP) and backed by investments from Malaysian-owned Smart Axiata Co Ltd, a leading telecommunications service provider in the Kingdom, as well as Forte Insurance (Cambodia) Plc, the priority for SADIF is Cambodia-focused technology companies.

BanhJi co-founder Sim Chankiriroth said SADIF’s investment will advance the company’s mission to provide superior services for MSMEs and contribute to the Kingdom’s efforts toward financial inclusion.

“We founded BanhJi with the mission of powering MSME financial inclusion. In SADIF, we found a partner who not only shares this mission and our values but also has a track record that will help accelerate our progress so we can do even more for current and new customers,” SADIF quoted him as saying.

And DRVR founder and CEO David Henderson said: “DRVR is delighted to receive this investment and establish a strategic partnership with SADIF. We look forward to jointly offering mobile-first telematics solutions with Forte and Smart Axiata.

“Our investment and strategic partnership with Forte particularly will allow us to extend our service and operations into Cambodia, in line with our regional expansion plans. We see huge potential for growth not only in Cambodia but across the ASEAN region,” he was quoted as saying.

MSP partner Bora Kem said the investments into BanhJi and DRVR underline the importance of technology in facilitating data-informed smart decisions.

He said BanhJi’s platform aspires to enhance the reliability of the financial reports prepared by the Kingdom’s MSMEs and bridge the financial gap troubling many of them.

Meanwhile, he said, DRVR’s internet of things (IoT) and real-time analytics intend to cut down on logistics customers’ fleet management costs and prevent road casualties.

Smart Axiata CEO Thomas Hundt pointed out that MSMEs are one of the strongest engines of employment and the economy, but are beleaguered by inefficient financial management.

“BanhJi has developed a local solution to serve Cambodian MSMEs to develop a proper financial report, thereby enhancing their financing opportunity. We are happy to contribute to MSMEs’ development through our SADIF investment in BanhJi,” SADIF quoted him as saying.

The two investments have expanded the SADIF portfolio of promising digital businesses to 10, joining Morakot Technology Co Ltd, Joonaak Enterprise Solutions Co Ltd (Joonaak Delivery), GO24 (Cambodia) Co Ltd (Nham24), Goama Pte Ltd (GoGames), Sala Tech Digital Solutions (Cambodia) Co Ltd, Okra Solar Co Ltd, Sousdey Cambodia and Agribuddy Co Ltd.


  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration