Why would a restaurant review site like Wongnai expand into beauty? Yod Chinsupakul explains his original vision for the company
Thailand-based restaurant review startup Wongnai isn’t just hungry for food. It has secured another round of funding from Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd’s investment subsidiary RSP Fund No. 5, LLC, to expand into the beauty review category, and bring Wongnai to other cities in Thailand.
While the investment amount was not disclosed, Yod Chinsupakul, CEO and Co-founder, Wongnai noted that the sum is more than what the startup secured in its Series A round, and that the valuation has gone up by more than two folds. For the record, the company had raised between US$500,000 to US$1 million from Recruit Strategic Partners in May 2013, as part of its Series A round.
With more than one million registered members on Wongnai’s current food platform, Chinsupakul told e27 that they have the resources — talent and technology — to spearhead another product. He added, “Our vision, when we (first) started Wongnai has always been to review and discover every type of local business, not just food.”
Wongnai’s expansion into the beauty market will not be yet another Cosmonet or cosmetic review site. The new product, however, will focus on beauty services such as spas, clinics, salons and dermatologists.
According to an official statement, the firm will launch Wongnai Beauty this year, and head to other cities in Thailand, including Chon Buri, Nakorn Ratchasima, Phuket and Hua Hin.
Its expansion to Chiang Mai has been successful as well, said Chinsupakul, who added that the company’s acquisition of Hungryfatguy in March 2014 has proven to be a good decision. Its revenue in the city has grown by more than 30 per cent since the purchase.