Cambodia’s tech startup scene is growing despite challenges that persist for their young entrepreneurs and startup founders. With its increasing digital literacy, a population that is largely under the age of 30, and support from private firms and the government, Cambodia has a good foundation to amp up their innovation game and step out into the global stage.
This is evident during Echelon Asia Summit on June 2018. Through the support of Cambodia Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, the National Institute of Posts, Telecoms, and ICT, and Smart Axiata, nine of the country’s emerging startups were able to showcase in Echelon’s Cambodia Pavilion.
Here’s a quick look at the nine startups:
BongPheak is an employment service that allows employers and jobseekers to get in touch with each other. The platform is specially designed for companies in the construction, manufacturing, hospitality, and security sectors, and covers low-skilled and unskilled workers.
What makes BongPheak different from other employment service platforms is that it not only understands the limitations their candidate pool has, but has designed their processes taking those limitations into account. While they are an online platform, they understand that very few of their target candidates have access to the internet, and therefore communicates using a combination of web, Facebook, and automated phone calls.
Launched in October 2017, BongPheak already has over 200,000 followers on Facebook, posts a minimum of 2,000 employment opportunities at any time, and has about 20,000 potential candidates visiting their site every month.
DirexPlay is a game design company founded by graduate students from local universities in Siem Reap. Launched in 2013, the startup’s idea was to develop games that would bring Cambodian realities and culture into the gaming world. For example, their games are situated at famous Cambodian landmarks or features enemies inspired by Khmer mythology.
One of their most famous releases is Sok and Sao’s Adventure, where players embark on a quest to save the world from Dengue fever by getting rid of the Aedes mosquito. The game has over 100,000 downloads worldwide since it was released.
DirexPlay has released six games since their launch and has won the Cambodia ICT Awards in 2017.
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Joonaak Delivery is a local delivery and e-commerce solution provider in Cambodia that aims to address last-mile distribution and fulfillment needs of businesses.
For online shops, Joonaak offers half-day delivery, cash-on-delivery, real time status, and customer support. They also offer business distribution services for a wide range of items from delivery of important documents to sending corporate gifts. The company also has their own warehouse for fulfilment services offered to clients and offers product packaging solutions as well.
Launched in March 2014, Joonaak Delivery boasts of over 250 businesses using their services.
Khmer 24 is an online classified ads and marketplace that allows users to buy and sell a wide variety of products through a mobile application.
The products available ranges from gadgets to apparel to vehicles and even houses and land. Services like interior design, car maintenance, and legal are also available at on the platform. There are also groceries and even jobs. Khmer 24 aims to be the one-stop-shop for all things Cambodian residents require.
It’s mobile app also lets buyers and sellers get in touch directly with each other, and share products posted in social media. Launched in 2009, Khmer 24 operates out of Phnom Penh.
Last2Ticket is an online digital ticketing solutions company that was founded in 2011 in Portugal and expanded into Cambodia as its point of entry into Southeast Asia.
The company aims to address traditional event ticketing problems associated with physical ticketing offices like queueing and cash payments. Its proprietary technology enables it to provide end-to-end management services to event organisers.
Last2Ticket’s system encourages Cambodia’s event organisers to embrace digital ticketing and helps slowly transition locals into e-payments.
Also read: Report: Cambodia saw 140 per cent rise in tech startup investment in 2018
Morakot Technology is a software company specialising in financial software and built specifically with Cambodia’s microfinance institutions (MFIs) in mind.
Having previously been from microfinance institutions, the founders of Morakot knew the functionalities that MFIs need and designed their product to address issues such as loan tracking and accounting processes. They also integrate with credit bureau databases to facilitate loan processing and approval. Their cloud-based service allows for quick iterations that are web-based, so users do not need to worry about costly installments or updates.
Launched in 2015, Morakot was one of the 12 startups selected by Startupbootcamp’s Singapore 2017 cohort.
Nham24 is an online food ordering and delivery platform operating in Phnom Penh. Initially built because it’s founder wanted to be able to enjoy coffee without going out into the crowded streets of Phnom Penh, Nham24 has grown to partner with over 400 restaurants, mostly in Phnom Penh.
Either through web or the mobile app, users can browse for food and drinks delivery from nearby restaurants and have the option to pay either with cash upon delivery or using e-payment.
Launched in 2016, Nham24 is planning to expand into the provinces. Recently, Nham24 has also launched a grocery delivery service.
Launched in 2011, Osja Studio is an online mobile game development studio founded by a group of gamers.
Osja Studio aims to develop mobile games featuring Cambodian culture, places, people, and arts style. They currently have 7 games available for both iOS and Android – an amazing feat considering its founders had zero experience in mobile game development when they started.
Apart from mobile game development, Osja Studio also provide outsourcing services for companies looking for 3D Game Art, game development, and interactive app development.
Also read: Cambodia to launch youth tech centre to develop local talents
SOYO is a subscription-based video on demand service that allows users to watch both Khmer and foreign movies online.
The films on the platform are dubbed and subtitled in Khmer, but also allows the user to choose or switch back and forth between Khmer or English. SOYO offers users access to Cambodian-made shows, as well as popular content from Thailand, South Korea, and other countries.
SOYO app is available for both iOS and Android, and is compatible with both Apple TV and Google Chromecast.