Singapore-based WritePath Pte Ltd, the parent company of TopAdmit.com, TopsSCIedit.com and BizEditors.com, has today announced securing US$525,000 in a seed round. The investment will be used to set up offices in Japan, South Korea and the US.
The seed round was led by Japan’s B Dash Ventures. Participating investors include Taiwan-based Pinehurst Advisors, and angel investors such as AppWorks’ Jamie Lin, GogoLook‘s Jackie Cheng, and Bernard Chan.
Founded in 2009, the Echelon 2013 alumnus and Echelon Japan Satellite 2013 winner first launched TopAdmit.com, an essay editing service for students. As the first website grew rapidly, the firm took the technology platform and business model behind TopAdmit and applied it to TopSCIedit.com, an academic research community, and BizEditors.com, a similar service for small businesses.
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At the moment, the company receives orders from China, India, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Ukraine. These customers, of course, vary according to the website they are using, since all three platforms target different crowds.
“WritePath is not only a play on technology,” said Hiroyuki Watanabe, CEO, B Dash Ventures, “but a play on the rise of emerging markets such as Southeast Asia, MENA (Middle East North Africa) and India. We like the fact that many of the markets that WritePath is playing in are growing at eight to nine per cent a year.”
UPDATE: Charles Chin, Co-founder and CEO, WritePath, told e27 about why the firm is expanding with US, Japan and South Korea in mind. He said, “First, we will set up legal entity … because most Japanese and Korean individuals don’t use PayPal. We do this for fee collection purpose. We plan to have Japan legal entity first, then Korea. As for US office, this would be targeted at next year.” (Sic)
At the moment, the firm has operations in Singapore (registered office), Taiwan and Shanghai, China, with 12 full-timers and one part-timer.
He added that WritePath was profitable for the first two years but was in the red last year in order to expand and gain market share. It intends to break even this end-2014.
Disclaimer: B Dash Ventures and Pinehurst Advisors are both investors in Optimatic Pte Ltd, the parent company of e27.