News broke a couple of days ago that Thai Startup Page365 received an undisclosed investment from Galaxy Ventures, headed by Adrian Stewart. Page365, co-founded by Lusarun Silpsrikul (“Trumph”) and Prathan Thananart (“Pop”) is a social commerce solution that allows instant purchase on social platforms. It features an interactions dashboard for sellers to manage all interactions with their customers and complete transactions right away. The clue is the proprietary natural language processing engine, which allows the software to handle automated responses and provide in-dept analysis of fans behavior.
Trumph and Adrian first met him during the 3 Days Startup Event at the end of 2012. Back then, Trumph didn’t know that Adrian was working with Galaxy Venture – until Adrian got in touch making an offer Page365 apparently couldn’t say no to. It only took two meetings to agree on the deal. However, Thailand’s laws are not always easy on investment deals such as this one. While the deal was agreed upon quickly the paper work took month to complete.
Adrian told us that the problem with investing in Thai startups is threefold. Preference shares are not recognized under Thai company law for privately held companies. Only publicly held companies can issue preference shares wherefore investors have to hold common shares. Secondly, only publicly held companies can issue convertible notes. Third, vesting periods for shares do not exist in the Thai law. Vesting periods are usually placed on Founders, in order for them to work a certain period before their shares are vested. In Thailand, someone else has to hold the shares in lieu. Trumph more simply put it this way: “The [Thai] law is not really compatible with startups.”
Page365 will use the funding for product development and market development. The startup wants to cover more social platforms and provide a complete solution for merchants and buyers in order to deliver customers a reliable social shopping experience and for merchants to have a proper tool to run their businesses. Long term, the team is also looking to expand their user base locally and across the region.
Trumph sees the maturing e-commerce market as a huge opportunity, particularly in collaborating with boutique stores. While he thinks that the mass market belongs to traditional stores, boutique stores still find most of their customers mostly through social media. Similar solutions to Page365 also exist in US, despite a very mature e-commerce landscape. Trumph expects Social commerce to grow globally because merchants on social media will still have a big advantage of huge traffic and virality of social media.