Former refugee bets on Cambodia’s early-stage startups

Logistics tycoon raises $55 million to spur development.

Phnom Penh — The chairman of Cambodia’s largest logistics group has raised $55 million to invest in the country’s growing stable of early-stage start-ups.

Rithy Sear, a former Cambodian refugee who founded Worldbridge Group after working for the United Nations in the 1990s, will deploy the funds through a new venture capital firm to be called Ooctane.

The firm, which will be a subsidiary of WorldBridge, marks a significant step up in venture funding for the country’s growing number of entrepreneurs who still struggle to find development funding, according to Sear.

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