Draper Innovation Index ranks Cambodia low for tech startups


The 2021 Draper Innovation Index has ranked Cambodia 176th in the world for the best places to launch a technology startup.

This is a new index, and data includes indicators on the state of entrepreneurial activity, environment and drivers for each ranked nation.

DHI Founder Tim Draper said “We wanted to create an online database to provide entrepreneurs crucial data that will help them succeed with their endeavours. This data provides information on the top-performing innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems nationally and globally; venture capital funding and investment trends; and new business and employment creation.”

Timothy C. Draper is a well-known Silicon Valley venture capitalist and entrepreneur.

Where did SEA nations rank on the DII?

Globally, Singapore ranked second and Hong Kong third, while China was #13, Korea #24 and Japan #28 which bodes well for the region.

Draper’s index registers 228 countries in total and some of the other southeast Asian nations that ranked on the 2020 Draper innovation index were:

  • Indonesia #51
  • Malaysia #59
  • Thailand #71
  • Myanmar #128
  • Philippines #142
  • Vietnam #160
  • Cambodia #176
  • Laos #220
2021 Draper Innovation Index Cambodia
Cambodia ranks #176 on the 2021 Draper Innovation Index

Cambodia scored better on the categories of Regulatory, Crypto-friendliness, Venture capital, Social, and Economics indicators, while it faired poorly on Government and Innovation according to the Index.

Richard Yim, the founder of Demining Robotics, told the Khmer Times, “Cambodia should deserve a better ranking than 176. The time to build a minimum viable product and go to market in Cambodia is very short and can rival other countries around the world.”

Kenneth Tang, managing director for Dynamic Technologies, echoed these sentiments, saying, “The ranking does not reflect how easy it is to set up a business in Cambodia”.

Sabay Digital Corp co-founder Mike Gaertner however that operating a company aimed at the global market in Cambodia may not be so easy, which may have resulted in the Kingdom’s low ranking.

What is the Draper Innovation Index?

The Draper Innovation Index (DII) is being initiated by Draper Hero Institute as an index consisting of a series of data indicators on the state of entrepreneurial activity, environment, and drivers.

The DII will look at key success factors, metrics, and indicators that support the performance of local startups and facilitate the creation of new jobs and economic prosperity, such as employment creation, VC funding, startup culture, tax regulations, and IP creation.

The DII also analysed metrics including cryptocurrency friendliness, inbound foreign direct investments and venture capital momentum.


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