Thailand-based Softbaked Limited today announced securing US$420,000 in seed funding from Inspire Ventures and existing investor Galaxy Ventures. It received its first round of undisclosed seed funding from Galaxy Ventures earlier this year. The one-year-old company, led by Lusarun “Trumph” Silpsrikul and Prathan “Pop” Thananart, is most known for its flagship product Page365, a social media e-commerce platform. [caption id="attachment_90692" align="aligncenter" width="748"] L-R: Prathan "Pop" Thananart and Lusarun "Trumph" Silpsrikul[/caption] The funds would be used to boost development efforts and grow user base. Thananart, Co-founder, Softbaked Limited, told e27 that Page365 has a user base of more than 9,000 merchants. Typically, these merchants sell goods on social media networks including Facebook and LINE, which are popular sales channels in Thailand. The merchants then use Page365 to help automate order processing, engage customers with “smart responses”, and analyse data. Currently, the team is looking to support more social channels like Instagram, beyond just Facebook and LINE. The company generates revenue through two main ways: subscription fees from merchants and a cut from revenue generated for its partners. Merchants can choose between using the free trial provided by Page365, which restricts them to basic features and a higher credit card fee rate (3.9 per cent), and paid models which go at either THB 500 (US$15.21) a year or THB 5,000 (US$152.10) a year. Also Read: This infographic is your guide into Thailand’s 2014 e-commerce landscape Silprikul told this author that merchants who pay THB 5000 a year will be able to enjoy benefits like no credit card fees for the first 100,000 THB of sales, phone support and a speedy connection, while merchants who pay THB 500 will only get to enjoy a 3.5 per cent credit card fee. In an official statement, Adrian Stewart, Partner, Galaxy Ventures, said, “The overall e-commerce pie is growing and social media’s share has kept pace with matched growth and this tells us a lot about online consumers and the merchants who sell to them.” He added:
“Thailand is still very much in love with the informality of shopping; even in the physical space street-side vendors sell their goods alongside the glitzy shopping malls. We see this trend continuing online via Facebook and other social media sites.”Tom Kim, General Partner, Inspire Ventures, also shed light on the venture firm’s second investment in Thailand, the first being aCommerce:
“What we see in Trumph and Pop is a great combination of market-savvy and technical talent that has together brought to the market a platform that is solving some of the tough logistical and analytical challenges faced by the populous but fragmented marketplace of social media merchants and of course the millions of customers who they sell to each year.”Going forward, Page365 is looking to become a platform for buyers and sellers, engaging both groups with value-added services like smart recommendations, instead of being just a tool for merchants to sell on social channels. “We want to be the hub where everyone can plug in – buyers, sellers, payment gateways,” said Thananart, hinting at potential integrations with complementary services in the bigger e-commerce industry.