DEALCHA, a Thai e-commerce enabler start-up, has secured an undisclosed amount in seed funding from 500 TukTuks, Solera investment, NextTech and angel investor Robert Lomnitz from Bangkok Venture Club.
Dealcha (www.dealcha.com) is Thailand's first cash-back website, launched in 2015. Dealcha.com offers discounts for hundreds of local online vendors.
Jack Chaiyupatumpa, co-founder and chief executive of Dealcha.com, said the website was benefiting both the growing number of Thais shopping online and e-commerce retailers looking to optimise their marketing return on investment and customer-acquisition costs.
"The concept of a cash-back website is relatively new to Southeast Asia, but it has been remarkably successful in the United States and Europe," he said. "When we first started here in Thailand, many customers could not believe that they could get 'cash back' for free, simply by shopping online.
"Over time, we have given our users even more benefits for shopping online, such as through our partnerships with DTAC Rewards and KTC Credit Card. We have also partnered with big international brands that are looking to expand in Thailand, such as Nike's Official Store."
Dealcha gives users cash back every |time they shop online, through what is |known as affiliate marketing. The cash-back reward model adopts a "stacked" approach, where cash is given back on top of any |existing discounts, coupons or credit-card rebates.
"Simply by clicking through Dealcha.com before you shop at your favourite online store, you get a [percentage] of your total purchase given back to you in cash," Jack said.
Dealcha receives commissions from merchants when users make a purchase referred through their website. Instead of keeping 100 per cent of the commission, Dealcha shares a portion of it as a cash-back reward, returning money to the users.
Danny Chang, co-founder and director of business development at Dealcha, said the website ran on a win-win business model that helped consumers save money, and helped drive traffic for e-commerce websites.
Jack said: "We see e-commerce stores pop up every month, some new, while others are existing businesses pushing more online, and we are committed to help all e-commerce players grow in Thailand.
"One prime example is Central Group, Thailand's largest operator of department stores and shopping malls. Its goal is to increase online transactions from the current 1 million to around 3 million per year and to drive online sales up to 15 per cent from the current 1 per cent of total sales."
In Thailand, the e-commerce landscape is fragmented much like other Asean markets such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia |and Vietnam. More than half of Thai shoppers are buying from general online retailers like Lazada, Konvy, Zalora and Central, and fewer than 25 per cent are buying from name brands directly.
"In 2016, Thailand's e-commerce industry amounted to a staggering Bt80 billion, and [is] growing steadily ... in different segments like electronics, toys, furniture, fashion and food," said Sebastien Le Bihan, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Dealcha.
"Dealcha is growing at a healthy 30 per cent every month, and we hope to grow with the Thai market and continue to educate Thai consumers on smart shopping."
Dealcha says it plans to roll out additional tools to make the cash-back process even easier for Thai shoppers, and also some new partnership announcements over the next few months.