Cambodia Investment Review

RG 116: Sophorth Khuon on Pioneering Digital Finance Solutions for Micro-Lenders in Cambodia and Beyond

RG 116: Sophorth Khuon on Pioneering Digital Finance Solutions for Micro-Lenders in Cambodia and Beyond

Cambodia Investment Review

Sophorth Khuon, CEO and Co-Founder of Morakot Technology, sat down with the Rising Giants podcast for episode 116, sharing an in-depth look at his company’s journey to the forefront of financial technology in Cambodia and his ambitious plans to expand into Southeast Asia’s digital finance scene. Morakot Technology has carved out a niche for itself by offering cloud-based core banking platforms for microfinance institutions and banks, recently diversifying with the launch of Cambodia’s first Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) platform, Mora BNPL.

Read more: RG 114 – Sotha Veng on Pioneering OTT Gateway Solutions in Cambodia

With over a decade of experience in microfinance IT, Sophorth brought a wealth of knowledge and insight to the table. “My time working with microfinance institutions and an NGO was pivotal,” Sophorth explained. “I saw firsthand the operational challenges and the dire need for tailored software solutions. This realization was the cornerstone of Morakot Technology.”

Sophorth’s journey was not without its hurdles. “Gaining trust was our first major battle,” he said, highlighting a skepticism towards Cambodian-developed software. “Moreover, assembling a development team with the right expertise in banking software was challenging in Cambodia’s talent pool. We were determined to train and build our team, leveraging our initial revenue to bootstrap growth organically.”

Prioritizing Local Needs And Regulatory Insights

Morakot’s planned expansion into Southeast Asia is underpinned by a nuanced understanding of each market’s unique challenges and opportunities. “Our growth strategy is two-fold: leveraging organic revenue and partnering locally to understand market intricacies better,” Sophorth shared. This approach has already borne fruit, with Morakot securing clients in Thailand and Myanmar, and eyeing expansion into Indonesia and the Philippines.

The regional landscape is competitive, but Morakot Technology stands out by prioritizing local needs and regulatory insights. Sophorth emphasized the importance of connecting with local associations and hosting seminars to build trust. “Our competitive edge lies in our understanding of local markets and our ability to offer customized solutions at a competitive price point,” he asserted.

Max Thornton of Rising Giants and Sophorth Khuon, CEO and Co-Founder of Morakot Technology.

The introduction of Mora BNPL is a significant step towards financial inclusivity, allowing consumers to purchase goods through installment payments without interest, a concept still nascent in Cambodia. “Educating the market on BNPL has been challenging but essential. Our platform serves as a bridge between consumers, merchants, and financial institutions, offering a seamless transaction experience,” Sophorth noted.

Read more: Mora BNPL Aims to Transform Short-Term Consumer Financing Through Collaborative Synergy in Cambodia

Sophorth also reflected on the evolving startup ecosystem in Cambodia. “The startup ecosystem is growing steadily, yet the challenge remains in scaling beyond the local market. However, Cambodia serves as an excellent testing ground for startups aiming for regional impact,” he advised.

The Value Of Experience And Specialization

Mentorship and continuous learning have been critical components of Sophorth’s entrepreneurial journey. He cited the influence of literature like “Blue Ocean Strategy” and “The Lean Startup” in shaping his business philosophy. “These works have guided my approach to innovation and scalability,” he remarked.

As for advice to budding entrepreneurs, Sophorth emphasized the value of experience and specialization. “Gain skills and understand your strengths before diving into the startup world. Focus and commitment are your greatest assets,” he concluded.

Morakot Technology’s story is a testament to the transformative potential of targeted digital solutions in the financial sector. Under Sophorth Khuon’s leadership, the company not only leads the Cambodian market but also sets its sights on broader horizons, championing innovation and inclusivity in Southeast Asia’s financial technology landscape.

Listen to the full podcast here.

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