Thai firms catch the eye of investors 

Tech September 03, 2017 22:07

By THE NATION

2,721 Viewed

INVESTMENT FROM ABROAD AND AT HOME, CATALYSES EXPANSION OF FLOWACCOUNT |AND SEEKSTER 



THAI START-UPS continue to make strides in raising funds to expand their businesses. Recently, for example, FlowAccount raised pre series A funds of US$1.15 million, while Seekster received seed funding. 

FlowAccount, a provider of online accounting services to facilitate business start-ups, has been successful in pre series A fundraising USD1.15 million (Bt38.15 million) for Online Accounting System just three years after their app entered the marketplace.

Their investors included SBI Investment, which has invested in top fintech firms around the globe; Beacon Venture Capital; Golden Gate Ventures of Singapore; 500 TukTuks Fund and other leading venture capital funds from Japan along with companies of Kasikornbank. 

Kridsada Chutinaton, co-founder of FlowAccount, said that this capital injection is a milestone toward the company achieving success with their innovative accounting solution. The solution's advanced features admirably enhance the responsiveness of the website-based FlowAccount.com. 

The company intends to create other new solutions to upgrade the competitiveness of Thai start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in this digital era in which information technology has become an important driver of the country's national development. The company's business plan expects swift expansion of its customer base. Over 10,000 companies are now active FlowAccount subscribers. Over 100,000 tax invoices are issued each month via the system. 

In response to government policies, the company plans to provide e-tax invoices and act as a platform to connect other solutions for convenient and efficient back-office operations.

Thanapong Na Ranong, managing director of Beacon Venture Capital, a joint venture of Kasikornbank, said his organisation was drawn to FlowAccount's potential for success based on their expertise in SME accounting management and an effective business plan. This is the first Thai start-up that Beacon VC has taken a chance on.

FlowAccount is an interesting start-up, said Yusuke Inaba, manager of the investment department of leading Japanese VC firm SBI Investment, sees. After all, accounting systems are an important fundamental to successful business operations.

FlowAccount uses the latest technologies in modern data management, useful to numerous SMEs in Thailand. Japanese companies often choose online accounting systems. SBI Investments hopes to steer FlowAccount toward higher growth by creating business opportunities for a new generation of entrepreneurs to enhance their competitiveness and expand businesses through using simpler, more relevant accounting systems. 

Another Thai start-up has also drawn investor attention. Seekster, a platform for cleaning and maintenance service for properties, has announced seed funding from three investors - Dtac Accelerate, Digital Ventures, and 500 TukTuks - to strengthen scalability of its service and technology. 

Seekster understands the "pain points" and lifestyles of a new generation of citizens and businesses. It has extended services into SME spaces, meeting needs of business owners for reliable cleaning and maintenance service. The service deliverers are trained and certified by Seekster and partners.

In doing so, Seekster helps create job opportunities and new sources of income for maids and technicians. And that helps accelerate Thailand's service industry over the long run, as it will play a big role in helping create an urban-technology ecosystem (UrbanTech) individually serving each residential and commercial property.

Sahib Anandsongvit, chief executive officer and co-founder of Seekster, sees his company not as a marketplace, but rather as a platform where quality and security are controlled for customer experiences from the moment the vendor comes online until their service is reviewed.

Started in January 2016, with a focus on a customer-centric methodology, Seekster has grown and expanded its business with support from dtac accelerate batch 5 and DVA batch 0. They now average 5,000 to 6,000 jobs per month with over 1,800 service providers offering their services in Bangkok and vicinity. 

"Apart from providing a service to household users, we have jumped into the SME market," said Sahib. "This is where we see a huge business potential. We have already started tapping the market and now have over 200 SMEs using our service monthly."

Seekster also launched an official partnership with leading property developer Ananda Development Public Co Ltd to provide maids and technicians for condominiums. While the operation will be under the umbrella of Ananda Development, as the technology partner Seekster would provide cleaning and maintenance services, including for an upcoming property development project.