By Charath Petthongchai | Tech in Asia –
This is the first tech round-up from our partner site Thumbsup, a Thai tech blog covering key digital business, social media, and startup stories out of Bangkok. Look out for more of these features every fortnight on Tech in Asia in the future.
Let’s begin with a rumor about the Thai startup behind the popular app WongNai (meaning “deep inside” in Thai), which aggregates information and social reviews of food and restaurant venues. A source told us that Japanese investors are keen to invest in WongNai in a series A round expected to be worth 15 to 20 million baht (US$475,000 to $634,000). We’ll look into this in more detail once it’s confirmed.
Regular readers will be familiar with the Japanese Line messaging app, which currently has close to 50 million users. The app is hoping to pick up a lot more users in Thailand, and so there’s now an exclusive virtual sticker pack made for AIS, the mobile phone operator in Thailand which is the first local partner with Line. The sticker set is called “Oun Jai” (meaning “warmed heart” in Thai; pictured right) and is only for AIS customers using the Android version of the app. This move coincides with different stickers made for Indonesian users on Telkomsel.
NHN’s strategy with Line is to seek out potential markets abroad, via alliances and brand building outside of Japan and Korea (the origin country of the app) and by studying the local consumer behavior in each country. Perhaps the main reason for Line choosing Thailand as a priority is the fact that it’s number one in terms of sales of stickers within Line for iOS.
The next bit of good news is from the biggest on-line payment company Paypal. With the increasing volume of global transactions being settled via on-line payments and the need for the company to expand more in Asia, Paypal is now seeking a country manager for Thailand via a post on LinkedIn. This position will be stationed in Bangkok, Thailand, and report directly to the General Manager for Southeast Asia and India (SEA/IN). The announcement from this giant company is a good sign for e-commerce in Thailand and Southeast Asia, giving on-line stores an e-payment platform to rely on.
We love events that provides a platform for entrepreneurs and VCs to interact. Here are two recent startup events that were held in the country and which reoccur from time to time:
The first event, Web Wednesday Thailand (WWTH), is a meeting for people in startups and digital marketing. The theme for the recent WWTH 10.0 was “Insights from the Investment Community” and there was a special session where startups could pitch to investors.
The second event, Webpresso, was set up by the Thai Webmasters Association. Its most recent meeting ran with the theme “Online startups.” All the speakers were involved in on-line marketing; among them was one from Builk, the winner of Echelon 2012 in Singapore, and another one was an editor from Thumbsup, the site that’s bringing you this new Thai roundup series on TechInAsia.
Submited at Saturday, July 21st, 2012 at 5:00 pm on Uncategorized by sofia
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