The soft launch of the venture capital fund was announced in June last year with a $5-million contribution from Oknha Rithy Sear, founding chairman of Worldbridge Group. Worldbridge is one of Cambodia’s largest logistics companies.
Since then, the fund roped in additional LPs to close the fund at $55 million. A spokesperson for Ooctane said the firm is in “advanced discussions and performing due diligence” on a handful of companies to close its first deal.
“Ooctane will make a game changing contribution as it seeks to propel Cambodia into its digital future,” said the executive.
Similar to other frontier countries in Southeast Asia, the venture capital landscape of Cambodia is still at a very nascent stage. The country’s growing startup community is very active and has been participating in pitching competitions, demo days and community events.
“In the private sector, we are also seeing big companies in Cambodia taking an active interest in the startup ecosystem by launching their own corporate venture capital arms and/or starting startup incubator programs,” said the Ooctane spokesperson.
Telecom firm Smart Axiata had backed a $5-million Digital Innovation Fund launched last year to invest in the digital ecosystem of Cambodia.
Other investors looking at investment opportunities in Cambodia include Mekong-focused Belt Road Capital Management, which is currently raising $100 million for its second fund, and Emerging Markets Investment Advisers, a Mekong-focused investment firm that has established a $64-million Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar Development Fund II.