In his new assignment, Poonpol will work with the Management and Investment team consisting of Founder Dave McClure, Managing Partners Khailee Ng and Christine Tsai, Venture Partner Tim Chae, among others.
His appointment comes a month after TechCrunch reported that 500 Startups would be launching a US$10 million micro-fund — the aptly named 500 TukTuks — focused on tapping into Thailand’s burgeoning startup scene.
Poonpol will co-manage the fund with Natavudh “Moo” Pungcharoenpong, CEO of digital publishing startup Ookbee. Prior to 500 TukTuks, 500 Startups has invested in more than eight Thai companies through 500 Durians, a micro-fund for the South Asia region. These include Anywhere to Go, Noonswoon, Playbasis, Eko, Pomel, Taamkru, among others.
‘The Godfather’ of Thai startups, Poonpol boasts an impressive resume; he was Google’s Product Marketing Manager for two years, before leaving to create his own startup — a social network platform Mobilitz Inc based in Silicon Valley. Following that, Poonpol joined DTAC, one of Thai’s three telcos, as Senior Vice President and Head of Products Division, later serving as Strategic Advisor. Currently, he is Commercial Director for Telenor Digital, and is leading the Internet For All programme to convert 10 million non-mobile Internet users into regulars.
The self-branded ‘serial technology entrepreneur’, Poonpol has been active in nurturing Thailand’s startup ecosystem, founding and running Disrupt University, a Bangkok-based accelerator with an aim to bridge resources from Silicon Valley startups and tech companies with Thailand’s entrepreneurs. He has also been a key speaker at large Asian events such as Echelon Thailand and TEDxChiangMai.