Learn more about InVent and our portfolio companies from the latest news, updates and events in this section.
InVent, a VC arm of Intouch Holdings Public Company Limited (SET: INTUCH) has invested in Series A financing round of payment and e-wallet technology startup Digio (Thailand) Co., Ltd. Digio and Intouch aim to tap onto the rapidly growing e-payment market in Thailand and Southeast Asia.
Bangkok-based Digio is one of the leading financial technology (fintech) startup in Thailand. The company provides turnkey payment solutions including card-based payment and e-wallet for financial institutions. The company is widely known as the pioneer of mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) technology in Thailand. The mPOS technology has enabled thousands of small merchants in Thailand to accept electronic card payment since then. This technology is also conform with and supports the National e-Payment policy of the government of Thailand to increase the use of electronic card payment and transform Thailand to a cashless society.
Digio has brought the mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) technology to Thailand in 2013. The technology has become so popular that Digio has deployed approximately 100,000 devices to the small shops, restaurants, or even the street vendors.
Digio is the first fintech company in InVent’s portfolio and it is the 11st company that InVent has been invested. Among previous investments by InVent include international VR advertising company: Social Nation, local business review portal: Wongnai, and golf course booking platform: Golfdigg.
Read more on e27
InVent has invested in Pre-Series A financing round of Social Nation, Inc., a Silicon Valley-based advertising technology startup. The financing includes participation from investors such as Index Ventures, Virtual Reality Investment Fund, Greycroft Ventures and other strategic investors. Social Nation will use the funds to accelerate its growth to achieve the goal to be the premier virtual reality and 360° video advertising and distribution platform.
Social Nation, Inc. is a successful advertising technology startup co-founded by a Thai entrepreneur in the Silicon Valley. The company under the brand “AdsOptimal” has delivered more than 2 billion impressions of advertisings in 2015. In addition to helping advertisers, the company has also enabled over 100,000+ publishers to monetize their websites. The company recently launched virtual reality and 360° video technology under the brand “OmniVirt”, and since has landed many high-profile publishers such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal as customers. Unlike other VR products, advertising hosting on OmniVirt can be viewed directly in all major web browsers without the need to install additional software/application.
Social Nation is not only InVent’s 10th portfolio company but also its first investment in the United States. Among previous investments by InVent include local business review portal: Wongnai, golf course booking platform: Golfdigg and mobile-first engagement solutions: Playbasis.
Read more on DealStreetAsia
Thailand’s Wongnai Media Co Ltd, a provider of food and lifestyle review portals under the brand ‘Wongnai’ and ‘Wongnai Beauty’, has closed a Series B financing round led by InVent. The financial terms remained undisclosed. The funding will be mainly used to launch Wongnai’s new O2O services in Thailand as well as expand into new lifestyle verticals.
Established in 2010, Wongnai surpassed two million registered users by the end of last year. It, so far, features over 200,000 points of interest including restaurants, spas and salons across Thailand with detailed information, real user reviews and perks, according to Wongnai’s Co-Founder and CEO Yod Chinsupakul. Wongnai has rolled out two major additions to its product last year. One is Wongnai Beauty, which provides the review on beauty, spa and salon businesses, and the other is e-voucher, which is the initial stage of expanding into O2O businesses and allows users to enjoy special discounts via their mobile phones.
Wongnai is the ninth portfolio company and the largest investment of InVent, a venture capital unit of Intouch Holdings, as well as the first-ever Series B investment in Thai startups made by Thai venture capital to date.
Read more on DealStreetAsia
Mobile ecommerce store ShopSpot announced it raised money from Invent, the venture capital arm of Intouch, the holding company behind Thailand’s largest telco, AIS. Existing investor Singtel Innov8 also participated in the round, although the amount is undisclosed. ShopSpot has raised a total of US$630,000 so far, not counting this latest round. It won second place at Startup Weekend Bangkok 2011 and joined the JFDI accelerator program in 2012. Through 2012 and 2013, it raised seed funding from Thai angel investors and Singapore-based Jungle Ventures and Singtel Innov8.
ShopSpot is a marketplace where shops can peddle their wares and buyers can browse for their favorite products. Large pictures highlight the products. ShopSpot says its idea is to combine the presentation philosophy of sites like Pinterest with the personalization of Amazon.The startup says it has over 1.5 million monthly visitors.
ShopSpot says it will use the money to enhance its app with features like the ShopSpot Guarantee System to increase vendor trustworthiness, according to CTO and co-founder Chawanop Witthayaphirak.
Read more on TechinAsia
Korea’s leading and fastest-growing digital marketing group, Yello Digital Marketing (YDM) Group announced to acquire a majority stake in Thailand’s Computerlogy, a social media analytic tool developer and one of the first Thai companies to receive the Facebook Marketing Partner badge in South-East Asia. Based on business consolidation with Yello Digital Marketing (YDM) Group, Computerlogy aims to become SEA’s top social media marketing solution firm.
YDM is part of Yello Mobile group, South Korea’s mobile media group with more than 70 companies specializing in five major business sectors: Shopping, Media&Content, Advertising&Digital Marketing, Travel and O2O services. YDM currently holds strong alliances with 22 entrepreneur-driven companies throughout Southeast Asia including Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and more to come. The company has over 1,700 employees providing services to more than 5,000 clients.
Computerlogy was founded in 2009 by a group of experienced software developers and became the first company in Thailand to earn Facebook Marketing Partner badge in community management category. Computerlogy has grown to be a big data specialist and technology-based company providing total social media solution to support online marketing strategy by gathering and analyzing social data, and turning them into business insights.
Read more on Computerlogy site
Playbasis, a company that offers gamification solutions for business and enterprises, has closed a $1.85 million Series A round as it bids to broaden its services and develop new technology such as virtual reality for companies. The Bangkok-based startup previously raised $770,000 in February 2014, and this time around its fresh capital comes from lead investor InTouch with participation from existing backers Cherubic Ventures and 500 Startups. The round values the three-year-old company at just shy of $10 million.
Right now, more than half of Playbasis’ clients are based in Asia, although Zepeda said that Europe was second highest. That’s something that he chalked up to the prevalence of gamification academics and thought-leaders in the region. The U.S. is the startup’s largest single market for business, though, accounting for around 10 percent.
Read more on TechCrunch
Sinoze is most well known for mobile music game Thapster, which features Thai and international artists and has, it claims, about a million monthly active users. Today the company announced it has raised a US$750,000 round from InVent, the venture capitalist arm of Thailand’s largest telco Intouch. The funding will go towards international expansion through its second title Electhap, a music game aimed at the international market.
Ratapatr Chotemongkol, Co-founder and CEO, Sinoze, said, “We would like to thank Intouch for giving a huge opportunity and support to Sinoze. Intouch and Sinoze will set up a strategic plan together. By leveraging Intouch’s rich resources of key infrastructure that help promote the rapidly growing internet and smartphone penetration which makes the access to a wide variety of mobile application easily at the users’ fingertips, to boost up the number of downloads to ensure that we cover the customers nationwide. To acquire more players, Sinoze will continue to offer new entertainment experience to customers. At the moment we are in the process of planning and developing a new music game called ‘Electhap’ to help us expand to international market and join the list of global leading game companies."
Read more on TechinAsia
Bangkok-based gaming startup Infinity Levels has landed $500,000 in funding to help it follow the model of success popularized by Supercell’s business and its blockbuster smash title Clash Of Clans.
Infinity Levels actually pivoted from an original focus on dating apps to games last year. Having taken an early seed funding round from Thai e-book startup Ookbee and Singles Solution (Infinity Levels CEO and co-founder Nikki Assavathorn’s other business), it has now pulled in this new round from InVent, a VC project under Intouch with links to Thai mobile operator AIS.
Infinity Levels’s first game is Ranch Run. The title is something like a mix between Clash Of Clans, Farmville and a racing game. It was initially released in Australia and then a further three countries as the team tested it among early users. The game will launch worldwide on iOS and Android in January 2015. Assavathorn said the new funding will go towards continuing Ranch Run’s development and introducing two other titles in early 2015.
Read more on TechCrunch
Thailand-based e-book store Ookbee today announced that it has secured Series B funding from Japan’s transcosmos to expand further in Southeast Asia. The amount is rumoured to be US$7 million. It had previously received US$2 million from InVent project under Intouch Holdings.
At a glance, Ookbee seems to be doing swimmingly, with operations in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore. A report published on transcosmos’s official website noted that the two companies will work together to strengthen its e-commerce business. The e-book store, which has more than 5.5 million members, will be able to leverage on transcosmos’s resources, like personnel and know-how in digital marketing, advertising operations, data analysis and customer support.
Masataka Okuda, President and COO, transcosmos said, “We want to continue accelerating e-commerce one-stop services in the ASEAN market, as well as support the e-commerce development of our customers in the ASEAN market.”
Read more on e27
Founded in 2009, Computerlogy is also behind SocialEnable, a social media management platform. CEO and co-founder, Vachara Aemavat said that the capital will propel the company forward in three ways: Expansion of its social advertising product to the Asian market, product development and team expansion.
Read more on e27
Based in Bangkok, Ookbee is a mobile only startup which provides the authoring tools for local publishers to publish interactive e magazine. While Ookbee is a mobile only startup, it currently serves more than 1.5 million users in less than two years. They are growing at 5,000 new users per day.
Ookbee offers a new way for consumers to read their favorite publications by bringing them to both tablets and smartphones, and at the same time, making it cheaper and friendlier to use. Other than that, the Ookbee platform offers a complete end-to-end solution ranging from content preparation, storage, delivery, a billing and payment system.
Besides the impressive growth rate, Ookbee has also partnered with AIS, the largest local telco, and B2S, Thailand’s leading physical bookstore and Central Group , one of the biggest group of department store chains in Thailand, to offer e-book, magazine, newspaper to local readers.
The new US$2 million in funding will be used for offering the new products to its existing customer base as well as for regional expansion. Ookbee has just expanded regionally to Vietnam and most recently to Malaysia.
Read more on e27
Playbasis, the world’s foremost mobile engagement expert, and Visa, the leader in global payments technology, today announced a strategic partnership to make Playbasis’ ‘Pay & Play’ technology available to Visa issuers and acquirers, including banks, merchants and more.
Playbasis ‘Pay & Play’ allows for the incentivisation of mobile payments by delivering a rewarding game-play experience to users, immediately following a payment. This is achieved by either adding a plug-in to an existing mobile application, or providing a full mobile application, called a Playbook, to the issuer or acquirer.
“We’re excited about our partnership with the biggest name in payments. Pay & Play technology provides a modern, mobile-first, way to build engagement and drive behaviour. When disruption is inevitable and foreseeable, organisations need to ensure their engagement strategies keep up with the pace of mobile growth and technological advancement,” said Rob Zepeda, Playbasis Founder and CEO.
Adding Pay & Play to a payment solution is quick and easy and the associated game can be as simple, or complex, as the use-case requires. After playing the game, the reward reinforces the preceding behaviour.
“At today’s relentless pace of innovation, enabling our customers to pay in the fastest and most efficient and secure way is only part of the equation. As the world’s largest retail payment network*, Visa recognises the importance of engaging customers in new digital payments experiences,” said James Lim, Visa Head of Product, Southeast Asia.
*Based on payment volume, total volume, number of transactions and number of cards in circulation
Read more on LinkedIn
Cloud-based engagement platform company Playbasis wins Top 5 Award at NTT Data's Open Innovation Contest in Tokyo, Japan. The contest is centered on 10 business themes, and is designed to foster the creation of new and innovative ‘win-win’ business scenarios between start-ups, NTT Data and its customers.
Mr. Piyasak Bunkhomrat, Managing Director of Meditech Solution receives IP Champion 2015 (Patent category) from Mrs. Apiradi Tantraporn, Deputy Minister of Commerce, due to the Department of Intellectual Property's 23th anniversary at Ministry of Commerce.
SocialEnable2.0, a social media management system that turns customer's conversation on social media into business conversation, receives a notable award in business category at the 9th IT Princess Award, held by the Foundation for Research in Information Technology (FRIT) Thailand.
The Foundation for Research in Information Technology (FRIT) held the competition for outstanding information technology projects to receive the IT Princess Awards. The objectives of this competition are to promote research advancement in information technology towards the international standard, to benefit the society, nation, and business sections, and to extensively support the development of human resources in technological fields. The winner would be awarded the royal trophy plate engraved with HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s initials and 1,000,000-Baht prize money.
Read more on FRIT
InVent receives Professional Startup Investor of the Year Award from the National Innovation Agency (NIA) in the National Innovation Day event.
The award committee selected InVent not only because of InVent's investment in national icon startups such as Ookbee and Wongnai but also the significant role InVent has played in nurturing the Thai tech ecosystem since its early days and working on the regulatory and policy issues to support VCs and startup companies in Thailand.
Find out more about the National Innovation Agency (NIA) on www.nia.or.th
From the open votes of people in the startup community, InVent is voted Thailand Investor of the Year at Rice Bowl Startup Awards Thailand 2016 held at Célavi Bangkok. Among the five final nominees are 500 Startups, InVent, CyberAgent Ventures, Ardent Capital, and Golden Gate Ventures. Wongnai CTO Pattrawoot Suesatayasilp also wins the Thailand Developer of the Year Award.
The Rice Bowl Startup Awards (RSBA) is an exciting series of events throughout Southeast Asia that lauds those in the startup community who show exemplary talent in their field and celebrates the spirit of innovation and achievement in the startup ecosystem. The RBSA believes in honouring the people behind successful and fresh ideas that influence such a reactive startup environment. Through these events RBSA hopes to inspire motivation and unity, and to stimulate an interactive network among all entrepreneurs, investors, journalists, developers and other players in the startup ecosystem.
Find out more about Rice Bowl Startup Awards on www.ricebowlawards.com
Startup Thailand 2016 is the biggest startups get-together event in Thailand. Under the concept of “Startup Unite”, the event aims to provide an opportunity for all stakeholders in the startup ecosystem to join, share and interconnect their future business endeavor. Thailand Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-O-Cha gives an honor to preside over the grand opening ceremony and is the keynote speaker on the topic of “Thailand’s Startup Vision”. The 4-day event exhibits over 200 startup companies and attracts over 30,000 visitors. Mr. Thanapong Na ranong also participates in the panel discussion on the topic of Corporate VCs in Thailand and the judge panel of the Hackathon competition.
Find out more about Startup Thailand on www.thailandstartup.org/
Code Mania is a one-day technical seminar for programmers and developers in Thailand. The event organized by Thai Programmer Association welcomes over 400 attendees from both startups and corporates and features 15 deep-dive technical topics including the highlight keynote by Mr. Pattrawoot Suesatayasilp, CTO of Wongnai.
Find out more about Thai Programmer Association on thaiprogrammer.org
Mr. Thanapong Na ranong and Mr. Vitavin Ittipanuvat visit Chulalongkorn Business School to help prepare the MBA students, as the representatives from Thailand, for the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) 2016.
Find out more about VCIC on www.vcic.org
Echelon Thailand is the biggest international tech conference in Thailand organized by e27. The enriching two-day conference with over 1,000 attendees, 60 exhibitors and 50 speakers participating in keynotes, workshops, exhibitions and live demos is crafted to connect entrepreneurs and investors across the Mekong region through Bangkok, the gateway to Asia’s burgeoning tech startup community.
Find out more about Echelon Thailand on e27.co/echelon/thailand/
Startup CEO Forum is a one-day conference organized by mai and InVent, crafted to help Thailand-based entrepreneurs learn critical business essentials from subject matter expert workshop and connect with new business partners in a casual networking night event.
Attracting investors, mentors, entrepreneurs and supporters of the tech startup ecosystem in Thailand, attendees will be engaged in both expert-led workshops and entrepreneur-led panel discussions, as well as making the most out of business networking opportunities during breakout sessions and our signature 'Back in the Box' party.
Start It Up Conference is the biggest local tech conference in Thailand organized by Techsauce. The conference objectives are to promote and nurture the local startup ecosystem to expand and compete in the global level. The conference features Fintech Startup Alley with Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri), "Ask Here" Workshop by each industry's experts and the pitching competition with Mr. Thanapong Na ranong from InVent and Ms. Monica Tsai from Singtel Innov8 among the final round judge panel.
Find out more about Start It Up Conference on www.techsauce.co/startitup
The Technology Investment for SMEs Conference 2015 is organized by Software Park Thailand and National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) in cooperation with Office of Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion (OSMEP) on 29 May 2015 at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel. The conference aims to promote technology investment and networking opportunity for technology startup communities in Thailand. Key activities at the conference include startup product exhibition, a panel discussion on "Trend and Opportunity of Technology Startup in ASEAN" by guests from Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre, Bandung Digital Valley, Ardent Capital and National Taiwan University of Science and Technology as well as a pitching session which involves 14 international startups from 7 countries.
Find out more about Software Park Thailand on www.swpark.or.th
Mr. Thanapong Na ranong gives a speech on the topic of "Venture Capital for Digital Content" at Bangkok International Digital Content (BIDC) Festival 2015 organized by the Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA).
BIDC is Thailand's largest annual digital content event that showcases its vibrant creative industries in animation, game, character, computer graphic and mobile application. The festival continues its successful inception in 2014 and brings together creative exhibition, business matching, professional seminars and industr recognition awards all in one exciting week during 27-30 April 2015.
Find out more about BIDC on www.bangkokdc.com
Mr. Thanapong Na ranong visits Faculty of Commerce and Accountancy, Chulalongkorn University as a guest lecturer on the topic of "VC Perspectives and Insights towards Entrepreneurship in Thailand".
Mr. Thanapong Na ranong joins the panel list of the panel discussion on the topic of "What Innovation Fits for Thailand?" at Software Park Innovation Day 2015 event. Among the panel list are also Assoc. Prof. Somchai Chatratana from National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office and Dr. Supachai Parchariyanon from MCFIVA.
Find out more about Software Park Innovation Day on www.swpark.or.th/innovationday2015
Mr. Thanapong Na ranong and Mr. Pongwut Ittipoonsawat visit Chulalongkorn Business School to help prepare the MBA students, as the representatives from Thailand, for the 18th Annual Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC).
Find out more about VCIC on www.vcic.org