Cambodia-based Khmerload, a news portal modelled after New York-based social news and entertainment portal Buzzfeed, has secured a $200,000 investment from 500 Startups. The transaction was first reported by Voice of America, Cambodia.
Launched five years ago, this latest investment places the valuation of the site in excess of $1 million says its founder and CEO In Vichet. According to the company, proceeds from the latest investment will facilitate and accelerate its expansion into Vietnam and Laos.
Vichet credited his company’s ability to secure 500 Startups as an investor to possessing a strong team and compelling product, as well as being scalable, given that it is reportedly amongst the leading websites in Cambodia.
In a statement to VOA Cambodia, he explained: “So we showed them that we are in the top three websites in Cambodia. We also have traction in Myanmar, where we recently expanded. So they see that we have done a lot while already generating revenue. Some Silicon Valley investors even invest in startups that do not generate income, but in our case we were already making money, so they saw our potential.”
Khailee Ng, the Southeast Asia-based managing partner of 500 Startups, noted that Khmerload’s potential was regional in basis, explaining to VOA Cambodia: “Getting to the top media position behind Facebook and Google’s properties with such a lean budget is something not many entrepreneurs across Southeast Asia have done. I’ve actually never seen anything quite like it. And to be profitable, yet have increasing traffic growth rates? This investment decision is easy.”
It initially grew its traffic on the basis of viral content and relying heavily on tabloid and entertainment content, which helped grow its reach in Cambodia. This also helped drive its expansion into Myanmar, where it operates Myanmarload. It has conducted a successful pilot in Indonesia as Indonesiaload and is incorporated in Singapore as Mediaload.
According to Vichet, with its growth, it has diversified its content offerings, including general knowledge, technology news and language resources.