Thai communication platform Eko snags $20m Series B funding led by SMDV

Eko's team.

Eko, a Bangkok-based messaging platform for businesses, announced that it has raised a $20-million Series B round led by Indonesian venture capital firm SMDV, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

The round was joined by budget carrier AirAsia’s digital investment arm Redbeat Ventures, China and KL-based VC firm Gobi Partners, East Ventures and existing shareholders.

According to the startup, the capital raised will help Eko further accelerate its expansion in Europe and North America, especially to increase its partner and customer base in the region. Revenues have more than tripled in the past year and Eko now has over half a million recurring paid users across retail, hospitality, banking, and other service-based industries.

It launched its sales, business and partnership operations in Europe earlier this year, with an office in London. Eko claims that with the Europe expansion, it saw its global sales pipeline grow by more than 10 times, with a majority of client opportunities now coming from Europe and North America.

“The EU’s economy is roughly seven times larger than that of Southeast Asia’s, whilst the US is roughly the same size as Europe. The difference in the size of the enterprise IT market is even wider as the EU and the US spend heavily on software.

“Thus, if Eko is to achieve the necessary scale to become a serious global player in the mobile enterprise market, continued growth in these markets is critical,” said Eko’s founder and CEO Korawad Chearavanont, who is the grandson of Dhanin Chearavanont, senior chairman of Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group and one of Thailand’s wealthiest men. Korawad is the son of Supachai Chearavanont, the CEO of CP Group.

Prior to this round, Eko had raised $8.7 million from investors including Gobi Partners, 500 Startups and Japanese trading house Itochu Corporation. The last investment round concluded in October 2017 valued Eko at over $20 million.

Founded in 2012, Eko is a mobile-first collaboration and communications platform for businesses, providing users with easy-to-use functionality. It now has over one hundred people on its team across offices in Bangkok, London, Amsterdam, Berlin and New York.

Also Read:

Thailand: Eko closes $2m strategic investment led by Itucho

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.