The Kingdom’s newest workspace for startups just launched, so here’s everything you need to know about it, and why we’re excited about this collaboration.
Cambodia’s tech startup scene has never been hotter. With more than 300 active startups likely to double in 3 years, the growth of local solutions such as PassApp, Morakot and PiPay, plus exciting entrants of large international corporations such as Grab and Alipay, the country’s startup scene is looking promising. While there has been great work initiating capacity-building in the ecosystem from the earlier days of Open Institute and InSTEDD iLab through to various programs led by organisations like Arrowdot, Dev Bootstrap, Impact Hub Phnom Penh, Development Innovations and many more, founders still report limited access to mentorship and platforms for collaboration. This is emphasised by additional findings from the Startup Report 2019, indicating that isolated startup teams with limited sharing opportunities have higher risk of failing.
We agree that two brains are better than one. So when SmallWorld wanted to offer space for scaling startup teams and increasing access to investor networks, we thought this was the perfect opportunity to collaborate. Here’s everything you know about the partnership and what we hope this brings to the startup scene in Cambodia.
Who are SmallWorld?
SmallWorld are one of the first homegrown startup communities in Cambodia. Founded in 2011 with a vision of building a vibrant startup community in Phnom Penh, they created a shared workspace where young minds could explore business ideas and transform their ideas into reality. The project was co-founded by Cambodian Rithy Thul, a prolific entrepreneur with a roster of projects including tech development company Codingate, Cambodia-based angel investor network Corco Angel, and tourism company Toursanak Adventures. He is especially well-loved for one of his most recent projects - Koompi - Cambodia’s first locally designed laptop.
After five years the team developed to begin raising investment to provide seed capital for early stage startups through the newly-named SmallWorld Ventures.
Fast-forward to 2019, and SmallWorld Realty was formally established to own and operate their shared workspace. We were so happy they chose Raintree for their flagship co-working space, conceived to provide entrepreneurs and freelancers a place to accelerate their businesses even further in the heart of the central business district of the capital. Launched earlier this week, they are now neighbours to prominent multi-nationals and enterprises such as tech giant Microsoft, global marketing group Havas and local corporation ISI Group, who also call Raintree home.
Why SmallWorld @ Raintree?
We truly believe great things happen when meaningful relationships are built. Over the last three years, Raintree started our own collaborative journey through a number of project partnerships, such as Saturday Kids (Singapore) and Teach for Cambodia (network partner of international Teach for All). We’re so lucky to work with organisations like these who we feel are leading their respective fields, and aspire to catalyse and scale the impact they are already making. These working relationships have taken time, sweat, (very occasionally tears), and definitely common values. This is true of SmallWorld too.
What makes the partnership between SmallWorld Realty and Raintree so exciting is our founders’ shared vision for cultivating a dynamic community. “Achieving a common goal is the focus of any great partnership - in this case, to take the Cambodian tech startup community to the next level” said Rithy.
“Rithy is a real dreamer in the best sense. Creating a strong narrative to drive the tech sector is not easy, as well as building a committed following of young Khmer entrepreneurs. His relentless passion for development and engineering is infectious” said our co-founder Zoë. “We hope their new home at Raintree allows their community an optimal space for accessing the clients and people they need, with all the facilities they need now under one roof”.
Anyone can build a swanky new co-working space with the right investment, but it’s much harder to replicate authentic networks and programmes tailored to the local demographic. Having built their community from scratch for almost a decade, with grassroots activity and self-taught engineering projects, we believe that’s one of the reasons why SmallWorld is different.
What does the new SmallWorld workspace have to offer?
This flagship workspace provides an inspirational and productive environment for entrepreneurs, freelancers and teams who are looking for a ready-to-use office solution. Comprising 7 private offices, 40+ hot desks, a call room, a TV-equipped meeting room, and virtual office services, SmallWorld Realty has something for everyone. The interiors are designed with plenty of greenery, contemporary furniture that balances comfort with functionality, topped with specially commissioned artwork. No worries about utilities, wifi and printer - they’ve got you covered.
Let’s take off!
The future of Cambodia’s digital economy is reliant on investments in technology and innovation, including the capacity-building to fuel these. Through our collaboration with SmallWorld, we hope this is another small step in the right direction. Stay tuned for more updates and events from SmallWorld in their brand new home.
SmallWorld @ Raintree is now open: Mon-Fri 8:30am-6:00pm, Sat 8:00am-12pm
For viewing and leasing enquiries, contact SmallWorld on +85515669947