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Startup Zanroo aims high after raising $7.4m


FOUR-YEAR-OLD Thai startup, Zanroo, yesterday announced its first attempt to raise funds had yielded US$7.4 million (Bt260 million) and it aims to penetrate the global market with the goal of being among the world’s top 10 for marketing technology by 2020.

The global total marketing technology market is estimated to be worth $24.18 million, with some 300 players.
Chitpol Mungprom, chief executive officer and founder of Internet-Based Business Group, an operator of Zanroo, said the funds would be used to develop new innovative products, to expand the team, and to expand in the global market, including the US, Europe, and China. The firm aims to have a business presence in over 40 countries by 2019. 
Currently, Zanroo has a presence in 15 countries, with total revenue of over Bt100 million in 2016. Zanroo’s customers are fast moving consumer goods, followed by banking, retail, real estate, and automotive industries. 
The codename of Zanroo’s new product, Arun, is inspired by Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn. Arun was first unveiled at The MarTech San Francisco in March. It already has 200 prospective customers in the US. 
Arun is being developed and the full version of Arun will be launched by the end of 2017. The advantage of Arun is it combines and integrates all social tools, including social listening and social engagement, into one platform, Chitpol said 
Zanroo will solve data challenges, while Arun will focus on the global market, to solve business challenges, he added.
Zanroo aims to achieve revenue of Bt260 million in 2017 and Bt1 billion in 2019. 
“We will become one of the top 10 marketing technology firms in the world by 2020, and we also envision Zanroo as the first Thai brand to become a unicorn startup [a start-up company with a valuation of US$1 billion or more],” said Chitpol.
Chitpol added that this year, it would focus on developing the full version of Arun, expected to be launched by the end of 2017. The new innovative product is expected to enable the company to make strong inroads in the large global market. Also, it will focus on Asian markets before entering China by the end of 2017 and then the US market in early 2018.
“We already have a business partner in China; it is one of the largest players in the market with a large customer base for us,” said Chitpol.
Also, the beauty of Arun is it will help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) benefit from the social|listening platform, which has become a fundamental tool for all businesses. 
“To penetrate the SME market is the next step, which will be achieved in the second quarter of 2018,” said Chitpol. 
Meanwhile, Worawisut Pinyo-yang, founding partner and chief executive officer of Shift Ventures, said that Zanroo has great potential as a Thai startup. It generated Bt1 million revenue in the first year of operation. Zanroo is the fundamental (marketing) tool for business in the current digital era.
Of the $7.4 million funds raised, 40 per cent will be spent on research and development of new products; 30 per cent on expanding the team, and the balance 30 per cent will be budgeted for marketing. Shift Ventures and other investors, both individual and institutional such as Asia Plus Securities, agree on the huge opportunity offered by Zanroo and Arun. 
He added that one of the strongest reasons for investing in Zanroo is because it has great technology to monitor social media Big Data in almost real-time; plus the founder and the team have passion and strong knowledge and experience, and it has global market opportunities. 
Zanroo, founded in 2013, is one of the fastest-growing social intelligence companies in Southeast Asia. Headquartered in Bangkok, it also has offices in five other countries – Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and the United Kingdom. Now it has more than 300 customers from consumer products, automotive, bank, telecom, and e-commerce industries.
 It also has ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification to ensure that the big amount of real-time social data is encrypted in order to protect customer confidentiality. 
 

Published : July 11, 2017

By :   ASINA PORNWASIN THE NATION

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