Uber, the American private car hire, and delivery company has launched operations in Cambodia.
Brooks Entwistle, the company’s Asia-Pacific business officer, told reporters on Thursday that Uber services would initially be available in Phnom Penh.
“We are starting and launching here in Phnom Penh. This is our focus city of Cambodia. Everyone knows, as we do in every city where we launched, we make sure we provide the products for riders and opportunities for drivers ... for the cities we have before we think about moving on to the next [ones],” he said.
The ride-sharing application was created after its founders struggled to locate convenient transportation in Paris in 2008, Entwistle said.
William Heidt, U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia, said the introduction of Uber into Cambodia could help ease traffic congestion.
“Cities across Asia including Phnom Penh are adding tens of thousands of cars to their roads every year. The pressure on infrastructure and environment in many cities has become overwhelming. Uber technologies are providing solutions to these problems by offering smarter modes of transportation, with fewer cars carrying more people,” he said.
Uber has raised more than $14 billion from investors since its founding in 2009. Its shareholders include TPG Capital, mutual fund giants such as BlackRock, and financial firms Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.
Pheng Sovicheano, secretary of state at the public works and transport ministry, said the investment showed that Cambodia was “open to new technologies, new businesses, and new ideas.”
Ban Heng, a car owner who was one of the first Cambodians to sign up with Uber, said he hoped joining the service would supplement his income. “Uber is very good for me and for additional income, and it’s also good for other people who want to make more income and own cars.”