Cambodian technological start-ups are booming business, said a recent report on the Kingdom’s tech ecosystem prepared by Mekong Strategic Partners and Raintree Development.
So far, at least 12 technological startups found an investor this year .
Financial technology is the most popular sector with more than 50 active startups. Digital media and advertising come second with over 40 active startups, while e-commerce and logistic, development services and “other disruptor models” follow with some 30 startups in each category.
The number one technological start-up in Cambodia is BookMeBus. An app that allows one to find an easy bus connection ended up in third place in a top 12 ranking by Amazon.
BookMeBus chief financial officer Heng Chan Panhavuth said the number of tech startups is still limited if you compare to neighbouring countries. “There is a huge potential and a big business opportunity in Cambodia if we can link the business to the tech start-ups,” he said.
Panhavuth said challenges involved in the Cambodian tech industry include a shortage of information, difficulty in accessing data and human resources, and limited awareness of the niche markets.
On the upside, the several reasons why Cambodia has a promising tech ecosystem in Southeast Asia include the Kingdom’s young population, over 50 per cent smartphone penetration and a growing English proficiency. Moreover, data usage cost is cheap.
Apart from providing less capital flow restrictions compared to its Southeast Asian neighbours, Cambodia also launched new innovation labs and a national fund of over US$10 million to support technological innovation, the report said.