Clik, a FinTech startup operating from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, which was listed in the 2019 FINTECH100 Global List & Top 50 Emerging FinTech Innovators to watch by KPMG and H2 Ventures, has completed the final close of its USD$3.7 million seed round, making it Southeast Asia’s largest ever seed round in mobile payments, loyalty programs, data visualisation, business intelligence and cloud data services.
Funding was led by Openway and Poems Pte Ltd - the investment holding company of Phillip Capital, a Singaporean financial house with over USD$35 billion under management, along with several global angel investors, a third of which are Cambodia-based. This round of financing, which includes the USD$2 million of commitments announced at the end of 2018, enables Clik to scale its product engineering and customer service teams as it progresses towards its official launch in Cambodia by the end of 2020.
Clik’s progress is testament to the invaluable backing that the National Bank of Cambodia has provided to the FinTech sector. Actively supporting the digitization of payments, the NBC is at the forefront of payment innovation, developing one of the first Central Bank Digital Currencies with Bakong, with which Clik will integrate in due course.
Founded in 2016, Clik is a payment aggregator enabling consumer payments from cards, wallets and bank accounts while enabling merchants to accept such payments. As Cambodia’s first independent mPOS and SoftPOS merchant acquirer, Clik provides all these payments in contactless (tap to pay) mode. Clik aims to provide a safe, seamless, simple and rewarding payment experience that empowers the user. The company is developing a single, easy to use platform that focuses on building consumer loyalty to boost merchant profits. Having developed their own eKYC solution, Clik can onboard consumers and merchants in minutes while adhering to the highest data privacy, security and banking regulatory standards. Merchants have access to analytics that are driven by fully anonymised data, while consumers benefit from cash-back incentives that reward them for repeat purchases. Their partners include established Cambodian retailers, such as leading pharmacy group, Ucare Pharmacy; convenience shop brand, Kiwimart; and conglomerate Chip Mong Retail. The company is also on track for a nation-wide launch at the end of this year, as they currently have close to 2,500 merchants and 5 financial institutions in their beta programs and access to over 56,000 more merchants via their partners.
In working closely with MYPINPAD, which is the first, and currently only company in the world to achieve Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards Council (SSC) certification for its software-only Contactless Payments on Commercial (CPoC) off-the-shelf solutions, Clik will become a driving force in digital payments, enabling any business, from the smallest to the largest, to accept tap to pay digital payments using their mobile devices. Clik will be the first payment company in South East Asia to launch these disruptive solutions.
Morten Hofstad, MYPINPAD Head of Asia, commented, “we look forward to supporting Clik in delivering its eKYC rapid merchant onboarding solution which will reduce friction and boost financial inclusion for MSMEs. MYPINPAD’s aim is to enable greater financial inclusion with an enhanced consumer experience which will help open and grow new markets for card acceptance".
"After two years of scaling up and defining the fundamentals of our regional market strategy, we’re ready to accelerate our growth with the closure of our seed round. Our goal here is to offer merchants and consumers a much-needed and attractive digital alternative to cash," said Matthew Tippetts, CEO and Co-Founder of Clik. "Amidst the instability caused by the global pandemic, Clik has continued to go from strength-to-strength, focusing on much needed contactless payment solutions and data-driven tools to enable both merchants and consumers to benefit."
“The closing of our seed round is a sign that investors are eager to back future proof platforms for the ‘new normal’ that will inevitably exist post-COVID. It also shows that investors see attractive opportunities for investment in Cambodia, especially in start-ups with robust regional potential.” added Matthew.
Clik’s progress is enhanced by the addition of their Chief Operating Officer, Patrice Vignes, who will also be joining the Company’s board. Patrice’s strengths and wealth of experience, most recently as CFO of leading Cambodian Microfinance Institution Amret, and CFO of large Multi-National Corporations prior to that, will transform Clik’s operations - increasing efficiency and focusing on rapid and solid growth.
“Clik has developed a technological platform at the forefront of innovation with the potential to dramatically boost financial inclusion across Asia enhancing the access to and the services of banks and MFIs, while enabling merchants to better cater to their customers. Joining the team and contributing to the success of the Group in its mission is an honor, and an opportunity to open amazing digital possibilities to all its clients and partners,” Patrice said.
Another notable addition to the team is Clik’s Chief Design and Strategy Officer, Olivier Mermet. Olivier is a brand strategy and customer experience specialist who was previously a Brand Design Director at Procter & Gamble and a VP of Design, Retail and Customer Experience at Estée Lauder. His strength of experience in building brands, services and customer-centric products are an asset to Clik.
Denver Gibson, previously Clik’s deputy CTO, has also been promoted to CTO. With over 30 years’ experience in Technical and operational leadership positions, Denver’s breadth of knowledge and skills have continuously added value to the company. “I am keen to take on this new role and pursue even greater opportunities with Clik’s products and services,” Denver commented. Co-founder and Ex-CTO Darren Jensen remains with Clik as a Blockchain technology advisor to aid Clik’s development in that sector. Clik is also pleased to announce that Matthew Maddocks has joined Clik’s board as Independent Director, chairing the Risk and Compliance Committee. He will contribute over 25 years of finance, risk and compliance experience including 14 years working in the Asian region at global banks such as ANZ Bank, ABN AMRO and ING Barings.
Among these new employees are a host of pioneering young women, who will be instrumental in Clik’s future. Commenting on Clik’s drive to increase employment equality, Rhiannon Sheridan, Director of Operations and Risk, said, “Women are traditionally under-represented in the tech industry, and at Clik we’re eager to change that.” With almost a third of the company represented by women, Clik is undoubtedly on track to break down any barriers to women in the industry.