I had the opportunity to meet some exciting startups in Thailand at the BKK Startup Jobfest organized by Getlinks in Bangkok this past weekend. The two day event was filled with young talented professionals eager to work with tech startups, SMEs and MNCs.
Djoann Fal, CEO of Getlinks, gave me a quick to tour of the successful event and he looks forward to organize the event bi-annually in the vibrant city. The hiring event is done using the Getlinks app that allows you to find jobs and people in your area by skills and location in real time. The app allows you to save time by finding the best opportunities around you.
So I have a listed of few of the companies that highlighted the event.
Claim Di is a mobile application that allows drivers to communicate with their insurance company. Claim Di offers features like vehicle inspection prior to issuing policy, reporting accidents and standby surveyor to inspect accident site. The app also allows drivers to file claims when no third party is involved in the accident or if the area is congested it allows drivers to file separate claims on the spot without waiting for surveyor to inspect the site.
HotelQuickly is a mobile app designed to save travelers time and money by using a proprietary technology to book the best hotel rooms in Asia-Pacific at the last minute. On average the app allows travelers to save 28% off 3-5 star hotel bookings. Currently, the app offers over 190 destinations throughout 15 countries in Asia-Pacific.
Grabtaxi is Singapore based ride-hailing service. Grabtaxi is now valued at $1.5 billion after its last fund raising round and is now offering services in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore. Grabtaxi provides complete transparency on driver and allows social sharing of the experience. The company has also launched Grabcar a ride sharing app that uses private cars to take riders to their destination. At the moment, there are aggressive marketing campaigns offering huge discounts as global competitor Uber and Grabtaxi try to battle it out.
StylHunt is a new fashion ecommerce app planning to launch soon. Surawat Promyotin, CEO of StylHunt, reveals that after doing extensive market research the company has found a unique opportunity in the fashion ecommerce marketplace using social media, purchasing behavior and aggregator technology to capture the sweet spot in buying fashion online.
SocialGiver is an online platform that turns spare capacity into a social giving opportunity. People can shop for services such as hotel stays, restaurant meals and gym sessions, then pick a social project to support with that payment. Seventy percent of money spent on the site goes to the chosen project and 30% goes to the SocialGiver team for operational costs.
aCommerce is an end to end ecommerce logistics, technology, marketing and service provider in Southeast Asia. The company recently raised a series B round of $5 million to build out platform and expand operations in Indonesia. aCommerce partners with global brands expanding into the region such as Maybelline, Kiehl’s, Samsung, LINE, and Lazada.
OokBee is a digital magazine platform in Southeast Asia that has a leading market position in Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand. Ookbee has 5 million users and adding approximately 10,000 per day. They distribute over 500 titles including regional versions of titles like Cosmopolitan, Maxim, FHM and Men’s Health. The app allows you to download digital newspapers, magazines, audio books and books.
Thailand is becoming a popular hub for both regional and overseas companies to expand ecommerce operations. While online payment transactions are still low, it gives new ecommerce platforms an incentive to enter the market. There is still no clear winner and large market share is still up for grabs. However, the English speaking level of the country is still low compared to the rest of Asia and online shoppers still like to use cash on delivery and atm money transfers as payment options.
Thailand’s current internet penetration rate is only 28% (19 million users) of which 44% of internet users are centered in the Bangkok area. So the big hurdle is still access and the government knows this. A new law called the ‘Digital Economy Act of Thailand’ is being worked on to address these issues. Once passed, private sector and government digital programs are set to start which will give a much needed boost to the Thai economy and attract more foreign investment.