Cambodia-based smartphone enabled microfinance firm DIGICRO Pte Ltd has raised $300,000 in seed capital from Tokyo-headquartered Showcase Capital, the corporate venture arm of Showcase-TV, according to an announcement.
The money will be used to boost DIGICRO’s micro loan service to the unbanked in Cambodia.
The micro loan service, provided through a mobile application named Spean Loan, is developed by SPEAN LUY Co Ltd, a subsidiary of DIGICRO.
However, the company is yet to receive a business licence to fully take on operations. It expects to secure the approval soon.
“This new way of applying loan on Spean Loan that uses smart technology to gather information from our customers helps them get a loan as fast as possible, while screening them to get the most credible customers,” said Faizal Martinus, head of IT at SPEAN LUY.
“We minimise the hassle commonly faced during loan applications.”
The company raised the capital at a time when Cambodia’s microfinance debtors are taking a higher ticket loan size compared to those in other countries in the world. Also microfinance firms are facing a challenge of repayment, with about 10 per cent of the debtors unable to repay the credits.
Meanwhile, 60 per cent of the country’s 16 million population who are connected to the Internet are not fully utilising the benefits of technology and are still facing a challenge receiving loan easily in an effective way.
The need for collaterals and official documents are among the challenges of getting a loan.
For those challenges, DIGICRO aims to streamline the practice to get micro loans, especially for those who need to get daily working capital and funds for emergency.
Using machine learning, DIGICRO claims it can inform the amount of money the client can borrow and issue it in 10 minutes.
Similar firms operating in Cambodia include Kiu, an ADB-backed platform that provides loan disbursements to SMEs in the Mekong region.
Showcase Capital’s other investments include IMAGEMAGIC, a retailer of web-to-print on-demand products, and Real World Games, a developer of GIS systems for gaming applications.