“These investments highlight how digital technology can innovate the way we learn and play. SALA empowers schools and educational institutions to improve efficiency and manage student data, whereas GoGames’s mobile gaming platform allows avid and casual gamers to enjoy hundreds of games with one easy subscription on their devices,” said Bora Kem, Partner of Mekong Strategic Partners, the investment firm managing SADIF.
Started in 2014, SALA is an online platform designed for K-12 and universities with features such as student management, HR and billing, payment and school administration. Its system allows school administrators to better interact and manage their curriculum, teachers, students and parents. Its features include student attendance as well as grading, timetables, basic reporting and facility management.
“SALA has already gone live at a leading private educational institution in Phnom Penh. We are currently hosting more than 2,000 users on our platform. The funding and support from SADIF will help us develop a full-suite of features that will accommodate the different needs of our growing client base,” said Sok Leap, Founder and CEO of SALA.
“Without automation solutions, maintaining records or tracking information can be very daunting and costly for schools. They will need to embrace innovative technology like SALA as they become bigger and more complex. At the same time, the education market in Cambodia is growing at a rapid pace, representing a major opportunity for SALA,” said Mervyn Cheo, Director of Forte Investment Holdings and SADIF investment committee member.
SALA is already collaborating with New Generation School, a nationwide education reform by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, to pilot the solution at four public schools.
Launched in 2017, GoGames is a subscription-based platform of over 400 mobile games for Android smartphones, which allows users to have access to top-rated games free of advertising or in-app purchases at a market competitive subscription fee. The company focuses on emerging markets and is dubbed as the ‘Netflix of Games’ for its business model, ease and variety.
GoGames is currently available in Cambodia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The company is also targeting launches in the Philippines, Vietnam and India soon.
Taro Araya, Founder and CEO of GoGames, commented: “Although the Asian mobile gaming market is crowded and highly competitive, we have managed to acquire more than 650,000 users as of early 2019 and have secured numerous mobile telco partnerships in the region. The recent investment from SADIF will help make our aggressive growth plans a reality.”
Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart Axiata, added: “The advancement of mobile technologies and affordable data packages are key success factors of mobile gaming. Today, you can fit video games in your pocket and play them anytime at a relatively cheap price. GoGames has proven to have the ability to offer differentiated value to young gamers in Asia, which will lead to more app monetization opportunities in future.”
In this round of investment, SADIF has co-invested together with global venture capital fund, SOSV, as part of its Mobile Only Accelerator (MOX).
SADIF is Cambodia’s first digital venture capital fund managed by Mekong Strategic Partners with investments from Smart Axiata and Forte Insurance. The US$5 million fund is committed into investing in Cambodia-focused technology companies. In addition to the funding, SADIF also provides support for the portfolio companies by growing their businesses, advancing their networks and expanding their presence in more geographies.