Cambodian Tourism Startup Among 4 Regional Grant Winners

CamboTicket, a Cambodian travel startup that coordinates regional transportation services, was one of four companies to win grants in a regional competition to connect startups with international investors.

The startup won a $7,000 grant alongside two other runners-up—based in Laos and Vietnam—after competing in a six-month Mekong Business Initiative tourism startup program, according to an announcement on Monday.

An online booking platform, CamboTicket sends reservations to the email inboxes of users who pay ahead online for participating bus, ferry and private taxi services in Laos, Vietnam and Thailand.

Receiving the grant “out of so many high-potential startups is very motivating and reconfirms our belief that CamboTicket is solving a very big issue,” said Shivam Tripathi, a company co-founder.

An online tour booking company in Burma, GoP, won first place, taking a $10,000 grant. The competition, run by the Asian Development Bank, received more than 250 applications this year, according to the program’s website.

Jim Plamondon, managing director of Daem Koki Holdings, one of the competition’s Cambodia-based investors, said the exposure the startups got from winning was worth more than the grant money.

“These features will eventually be incorporated into global travel-booking platforms like Expedia,” Mr. Plamondon said. “The first company offering a new feature—such as bus booking—gets a high acquisition price; the next, a lower price, and so on. It’s a race.” 

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