Impact investors are continuing to insert capital into strengthening Cambodia’s supply chains and increase local food production as the country continues to rely heavily on imported produce.
The food distribution company, Azaylla announced it has received an undisclosed sum for its Pre-Series A funding from Insitor Impact Asia Fund II, an impact investment fund managed by Insitor Partners.
The investment terms were also not disclosed to Cambodia Investment Review.
Azaylla, works with smallholder farmers and co-operatives across the country to source fresh produce, will use the new funding to grow its sustainable and socially responsible agri-business network, leveraging technology to supply supermarkets, hotels, restaurants, and caterers with local products.
Direct from Cambodian producers to consumers
Parth Borkotoky, Azaylla’s CEO and chairman of its board of directors said in a press release: “The need for bringing products direct from Cambodian producers to consumers has never been greater.
“We will make it possible for all Cambodian farmers and manufacturers to have access to a larger consumer base,” he added.
The company added it will launch an online B2B platform that will make it easier for food industry professionals to buy local products. Combining consumer insight, market data, and curation, the platform provides consistent pricing and up-to-the-minute availability.
Borkotoky has previously told Cambodia Investment Review there’s enormous potential in Cambodia to grow its export business, but the supply chain needs to be strengthened.
“There’s potential. I feel enormous opportunity in the country, everything is growing. FDI is coming in, foreign investors are interested in Cambodia,” he said.
Borkotoky’s cold storage warehouses in Phnom Penh allow him to get an edge in a market where cold storage is a problem.
Cambodia currently imports around 70 percent of its fresh produce from neighboring countries, such as Vietnam and Thailand. Azaylla supports the domestic market by working directly with farmers to improve crop quality, increase yields, and access credit.
Strong interest in Cambodia’s agri-tech sector
The investment in Azaylla marks the ninth in Cambodia for Insitor Partners, an impact fund manager based in Singapore.
Founded in Phnom Penh in 2009, Insitor backs early-stage entrepreneurs building life-changing solutions for low-income customers in developing Asia. The fund’s 29 investments have impacted more than 50 million low-income customers across the region.
Bradley Kopsick, Insitor’s Cambodia country director said: “Agriculture continues to play a crucial role in the development of Cambodia’s economy.”
“Azaylla works closely with farmers to address a range of day-to-day challenges that they face, including uncertain market demands and yields that lag behind neighboring countries,” he added.
Incorporated in Cambodia in 2019, Azaylla received its first round of funding last year from Uberis Capital, a venture firm based in Phnom Penh.