After two meetings with Lusarun Silpsrikul (popularly known as Trumph) and Prathan Thananart (Pop) from Page365, Adrian Stewart, Entrepreneur in Residence, Galaxy Ventures, had already decided to invest in the Thai-based Facebook e-commerce solution. The paperwork, however, did take some time to complete.
Page365 is a software that allows people who sell things on Facebook to process orders, engage customers via enquiries, and get a better understanding of customer data from a simple dashboard. Its smart response feature allows automated replies to customers.
Lusarun Silpsrikul (Trumph), CEO, Page 365
The seed round amount was undisclosed, but Trumph, CEO, Page365, told e27, “(We) are happy to say (that) we raised enough to confidently take us through our growth plans.”
Stewart added that the venture capital firm has watched the two entrepreneurs grow and develop the idea since end-2012. It was only in October 2013 that the two parties started talking. He said, “The short answer (is that) we love the team, we understand their product and we believe they can deliver.”
The funds were finally secured in January 2014, and will be used for product and market development. In the near future, Page365 will be adding new hires and boosting the current team to cover more social platforms and provide a more holistic solution for both, merchants and buyers.
Trumph said, “We want buyers to have a more reliable social shopping experience and merchants to have a proper tool to run their business.” In addition, the startup wishes to expand its merchant base locally and across the region to Vietnam or Indonesia by the third quarter of 2014.
Its cheapest pricing system starts at THB 300 a month (US$9.32), which allows Facebook pages with less than 5,000 likes to use its dashboard, with an unlimited number of administrators.
Is LINE-commerce the next big trend?
Trumph indicated that in the future, there might be an option to develop a solution for Japanese chat app LINE, which is extremely popular in Thailand. In fact, the chat app has more than 18 million users in the Southeast Asian country.
He said, “To us, LINE works like Facebook in terms of chat. Since the traffic and users are there, lots of merchants have started to use it as primary communication channel with their customers, much like having a live operator chat on a website. We are exploring a working e-commerce system for our merchants that doesn’t need to interrupt the current customer experience and flow.”
In Thailand, Trumph also sees social and informal commerce growing rapidly and strongly. “People buy from social networks because it’s convenient and sometimes, they know they can trust the shop if they see that their friends have bought (from it previously).”
Galaxy Ventures is an early-stage corporate investment firm based in Bangkok.