Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - First three winners of Smart Axiata fund announced

First three winners of Smart Axiata fund announced

Smart Axiata CEO Thomas Hundt speaks at an event yesterday in Phnom Penh.
Smart Axiata CEO Thomas Hundt speaks at an event yesterday in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

First three winners of Smart Axiata fund announced

The first three recipients of funding from the Smart Axiata Digital Innovation Fund (SADIF), a $5 million venture capital fund committed to digital service companies and startups, were announced yesterday, while Smart also welcomed Forte Insurance (Cambodia) Plc as a co-investor in the fund.

Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart Axiata, said at an event yesterday that Joonaak Delivery, Morakot Technologies and Aniwaa 3D-printing were the first recipients of the fund. However, neither the amounts awarded to the companies nor the injection of capital by Forte into the fund were announced.

“Mekong Strategic Partners have screened the market [for Smart to verify the most viable candidates for funding], and it is remarkable to present the first three,” Hundt said. “For sure there will be more investees announced soon.”

Leakhena Long, from Joonaak Delivery, a company she co-founded, said that the fund would help expand business operations. Launched in 2014, Joonaak specialises in providing logistical and delivery support for online shops.

“So far, we have been in business over two years and have delivered 69,500 packages,” she said. “We are excited we got selected to be one of the [SADIF] investees, and with the prize we are introducing our new mobile application for our clients.”

Ripe for growth
Speaking on behalf of Morakot Technologies, co-founder Sophorth Khuon explained how the cloud-based banking platform, launched just over two years ago, had already grown to service 26,000 clients with a collective portfolio of around $85 million.

Martin Lansard, CEO of Aniwaa, said he had only just received word of being awarded funding yesterday morning. His company, which has been based in Cambodia since 2014, is one of the most encompassing comparison websites for 3D printers in the world.

“With this equity partnership, we will be in a stronger position to build a world-class content team,” he said. “We will also strengthen our sites and rich database capabilities.”

Kem Bora, investment manager for Mekong Strategic Partners, said that the fund was being used to identify businesses that are ripe for growth and can have an immediate positive impact.

“The three who made the cut this round are well-positioned to go to the next level,” he said.

The Smart innovation fund was launched in March of this year, with Mekong Strategic Partners as part of the investment committee, and aims to invest in at least 15 companies over five years.

MOST VIEWED

  • Historic Battambang town bans billboards

    The Battambang town administration informed all house and business owners in Svay Por commune to remove all billboards by August 1 as it is preparing to submit the town to UNESCO for inclusion on its historical cultural heritage list. Its July 25 notice said all signage was

  • All foreigners' accommodations to be inspected: Sar Kheng

    The Ministry of Interior is undertaking a serious effort to inspect all the accommodations of foreigners in Cambodia – except diplomats – in order to find and identify human traffickers. Minister Sar Kheng said this would include inspections on the homes of foreigners employed by businesses, private

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Khmer influence growing in Hollywood

    The rare success of The Cleaning Lady – an American TV series which stars Cambodian-French Hollywood actress Elodie Yung – sheds some light on Asian immigrants to the US, yet a significant representation gap of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) exists both on screen and behind

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of