Rai Capital and Goldbell Financial Securities have launched a joint venture (JV) peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform to help individuals and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Cambodia gain access to credit or investments.
The JV, which is licensed and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia, aims to fill the emerging gap in the lending market for proper and convenient access to financing in Cambodia. The Rai Capital platform, accessible via a mobile app, eliminates the need for borrowers to travel long distances to obtain financing and is able to onboard suitable investors from around the region, such as accredited or corporate investors and financial institutions outside of Cambodia.
“We noticed the lack of financial inclusion due to the scarcity of financiers and a huge pool of MSMEs who are unable to tap the support offered by banks or financial institutions, as well as the physical barriers borrowers face when obtaining financing – having to take hours or up to a day to travel from rural areas to the city, just to spend a few more weeks waiting for the loan application to be approved,” explains Eddie Lee, co-founder and CEO of Rai Capital. “Rai Capital was born out of seeing that struggle. And we are playing our part to take fintech [financial technology] into ASEAN, starting with Cambodia.”
MSMEs account for 99% of the businesses in Cambodia, with most being micro-enterprises with less than ten employees, according to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. While P2P lending or other alternative financing is not an entirely new concept in Southeast Asia, Cambodia still has a void to fill for such services – with 66% of MSMEs facing challenges in accessing working capital, according to the same report.