Page365, a social media e-commerce platform for sellers on Facebook and LINE application, run by Thailand-based Softbaked Limited, has raised $420,000 in seed funding from Inspire Ventures and existing investor Galaxy Ventures, today.
It received its first round of undisclosed seed funding from Galaxy Ventures last year.
The startup’s founders, Lusarun Silpsrikul and Prathan Thananart, say that the company will use the funds to further develop the website’s features and expand its customer-base through other social channels such as Instagram.
In one year, the company has more than 9,000 merchants for Page365. It is targeting to have a 20,000-strong merchant base by the mid of next year. This growth is in line with the rapidly increasing social media led e-commerce, in Thailand. The sales on Facebook and other social media sites in Thailand have been predicted to touch $510 million this year.
The company founder Prathan Thananart spoke to DEALSTREETASIA about Page 365’s imminent launch in Vietnam, dealing with increasing market competition, further development of their web tools, revenue generation and expansion to other countries.
Page365 works as a dashboard for the merchants selling goods on social media and helps them automate functions like order processing, engaging the customers and analysing of data. The company generates revenue through two main ways: subscription fees from merchants and a cut from revenue generated for its partners.
Excerpts from the interaction:
How do you plan to develop the website and expand the market through the funds raised?
We would like to develop our website as a hub for social network merchants. We will develop it with our partners, providing them procurement process, credit card payment and delivery service soon. For the market expansion, we are already market leaders for this business in Thailand as we have 25 per cent share of the total active merchants on social network. However, we would like to boost it to 20,000 merchants next year.
The competition has become tougher. When we started the business, we set the subscription fee at 300-3,000 baht per month because we wanted to reach the break-even quickly. But we found that most of new merchants on social network could not afford that. Only successful ones can. Then we decided to dump our price by 90 per cent to about 500-5,000 baht per year in order to expand our customer base.
How do you generate revenue?
Our revenue is partly generated from the subscription fees and partly from the commission we get from our partners. Perception is that, the income from subscription fees is much less; but that’s not completely correct. Once our customer base is bigger, we will make more money from both subscriptions and commissions. Also, when merchants’ business grow, we grow too.
Any plans to expand the business to other countries?
We expect to launch Page365 in Vietnam with our partner next year. Right now, we are testing and developing a version that is compatible with Vietnamese market. We are also seeking partners for joint-ventures to launch Page365 in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong. We are hoping to finalise some of our partners, for these countries, soon.