Hong-Kong based fintech firm Kiwi Pay Group Co Ltd (KiwiPay) announced a strategic merger with Cambodian food and grocery delivery start-up Meal Temple Group Pty Ltd to enter more developing markets with a new app called KiwiGo.

To be based in Singapore, KiwiGo will aggregate curated content, e-commerce, logistics, and financial services, online news portal Tech in Asia reported earlier this month.

KiwiPay and Meal Temple have also moved to Singapore to team up with local businesses, central banks and financial institutions in a bid to aid the economy and provide “frontier markets” with improved access to online services and international

remittance offerings.

Investopedia defines “frontier markets” as economies that are more established than those of the least developed countries (LDCs) but still not as advanced as emerging markets given their smaller sizes, higher inherent-risk characteristics and lower levels

of liquidity.

Meal Temple Group CEO Maxime Rosburger said: “KiwiPay and Meal Temple had very similar DNAs. Combined, we play with better control of the value chain, new roads to market and optimised defensibilities.

“Both teams have provided pharaonic efforts to ensure a successful merger rhythmed by quarantines, lockdowns, and other challenges caused by the pandemic.”

KiwiGo has agreements and licences with central banks and financial institutions in over 20 countries across Africa and Asia, such as Cambodia, Myanmar, the Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Senegal and Ghana, the report said.

KiwiPay founder and CEO Gregory Schmidt noted that Asia and Africa are home to most of the world’s unbanked population.

“Together, we will continue investing in technology and frontier markets and create access to economic freedom for every person and business living in today’s most challenging economies,” he said.

Founded in 2017, KiwiPay pitches itself as a frontier-market fintech that operates in Southeast Asia’s emerging markets.

And set up in 2013, Meal Temple Group currently operates in Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar.

The merger comes nearly four months after the Kingdom officially launched the E-Commerce Strategy on November 25 in a bid to achieve and drive forward competitive growth in trade and economic terms.

And the strategy provides a framework for the implementation of the E-Commerce Law that the government passed on November 2, 2019 in response to the the rapid development of e-commerce and online shopping.

Speaking at the strategy’s launch, Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak said that, in the context of the fourth industrial revolution, digital technology is key in sharpening the competitive edge of commercial enterprises, promoting productivity, augmenting exports, creating jobs and reinforcing national economic growth.

Having embarked on a long-term vision to reap the fruits of Industry 4.0 and the innovation-driven modern age, he said the government of the Sixth Legislature of the National Assembly has demonstrated its readiness to develop a digital economy.

It has put in place policy which aims to, among other things, develop domestic industry, diversify the economy and prop up capacity building for the Kingdom’s small and medium-sized enterprises, he said.

“The e-commerce law serves as an important legal basis for the development of e-commerce, especially to protect the interests and build high-trust relationships with e-consumers, as well as to entice local and foreign investors to come and invest in Cambodia.

“This is a newly-emergent sector, but it has tremendous potential to generate new sources of growth for the Cambodian economy,” Sorasak said.