Lusarun Silpsrikul (popularly known as Trumph) is a regular fixture at local Bangkok Startup Weekend events, often seen coding with his signature pet parrot ‘Birdie’ on his shoulder or head. At Trumph’s last Startup Weekend, he co-founded a new concept called Page365 with fellow startup weekender, Prathan Thananart.
Persistence has been a staple to this story which started in March of this year, with the startup experiencing a large number of rejections before getting a small amount of seed funding from Galaxy Partners in March this year. The initial amount has never been disclosed, but Trumph stated it was enough for the team to move forward with building out the concept. Galaxy Partners is again involved in this latest $450,000 capital raise along with Inspire Ventures.
Page365 allows users to set up and manage an ecommerce store via facebook. It has latched on to a growing trend in the country that has seen facebook used as a major tool, to sell items online. The application works by providing users with a dashboard that allows them to manage things such as enquiries, orders and complaints. The service has also been monetised since its launch with users paying a monthly subscription to use it.
In Thailand alone, items sold via Facebook and other social media sites is set to reach US$510 million this year, so its a niche area, but when you look at the penetration of facebook / mobiles and ecommerce at a more globalised level the opportunity for expansion and potential customer base is actually quite large.
Though it’s important to note that commerce via social media is not growing anywhere near as fast as actual dedicated ecommerce stores in general, it still represents about 2% of the proposed US$2 trillion dollar ecommerce market that Bigcommerce suggests we will have by the end of 2015 in its Democratization of Ecommerce Report.
Speaking to Tech in Asia, Adrian Stewart of Galaxy Ventures said that he thinks that as the ecommerce pie continues to grow across Asia, a diversification in the platforms used will still be maintained and will continue to experience steady growth.
“The overall ecommerce pie is growing and social media’s share has kept pace with matched growth and this tells us a lot about online consumers and the merchants who sell to them. Thailand is still very much in love with the informality of shopping, even in the physical space street-side vendors sell their goods alongside glitzy shopping malls, we see this trend continuing online via Facebook and other social media sites,” he said in an interview with journalist Steven Millward.
At the moment Page365 claims to have 9,000 active users and the funds will be used to enhance the company’s sales and marketing team, as well as a significant portion being used for product development. That will include finding a way to integrate the system into Instagram, something that could take social commerce to an entirely new level.