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Peering Into Thailand's Startup Ecosystem

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Peering Into Thailand's Startup Ecosystem Tee Suraphongchai Ardent Capital Email: tee@ardentcapital.com Twitter: @ardentcapital


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About Me • Director, Ardent Capital • 16 investments made in the region • Head of Ardent Ventures • Previously: • Central Retail Group Thailand • Two F&B Companies • Bonobos (NYC) • Lehman Brothers • MBA, Stanford; BA, Brown University


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Agenda 1) Why Thailand 2) Thailand Market Overview 3) Current Thai Startup Ecosystem 4) Growth and Opportunities


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Why Thailand • • • • • • • • • • Reasonable legal setup (BOI is a great structure) Corruption in private sector is low Reasonable payments infrastructure Good credit card and banking penetration in the population Reasonable logistics (transport and traffic are OK) High mobile phone penetration (> 100% saturation) High smartphone penetration High quality mobile broadband Large market Closed language market, price premium on exit


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Goldilocks Principle for SEA • We do not start in Singapore • the market is too small • the exits are too small • It proves little, experience not relevant to the rest of SEA • Too easy, too many competitors • We do not start in Indonesia • it is too difficult as a first market, with too many challenges • Legal, infrastructure, ownership, payments, staffing • We start in Thailand • because it is difficult, but not too difficult • Lessons learnt are applicable to rest of region • After Thailand • Indonesia • Then Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam


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Thailand Market Overview: Young 74% of Thais are younger than 34 Age profile of ASEAN netizens Indonesia 43% Malaysia 37% Philippines Singapore 27% 26% 40% 24% Thailand 27% Source: UBS report “ASEAN E-commerce” at 13 June 2014 / Global Demographics 6% 9% 5% 8% 14% 45-55 7% 4% 14% 32% 35-44 10% 17% 29% 25-34 8% 4% 16% 25% 42% 15-24 22% 31% 45% Vietnam 19% 8% 5% 55+


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…and Becoming Richer Income per capita is growing fast enough to drive rising affluence, much faster than global average 2009-14 2014-19 2019-24 6.3% 5.7% 4.6% 4.1% 4.1% 3.2% 2.0% 1.5% 1.2% Global Avg 2.7% 2.3% 2.1% 1.3% Indonesia Thailand Source: UBS report “ASEAN E-commerce” at 13 June 2014 / Global Demographics / Macquarie Research 2014 2.9% 2.0% 1.5% 1.4% 0.8% Philippines Malaysia Singapore


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Online Penetration: Thailand vs China Thailand requires 1.5 vs 3 years to reach the same online penetration level as China’s post 3G Smartphone penetration 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% 10.0% 0.0% Internet Penetration 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011 2013 2015 2017 Smartphone penetration in China Internet penetration in China Smartphone penetration in Thailand Internet penetration in Thailand Source: CNNIC, UBS estimates


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LINE is Phenomenal Of 600M+ LINE users around the world, Thai is the third largest Key LINE Stats from Thailand • 29M+ users in Thailand alone • Came out of no where in June 2011, now rivalling FB • Largest direct to consumer channel in the country, largest active reach • AIS • 200k+ registrations on AIS account within 24 hours • 60M+ uses of AIS stickers in one day • BigC • • • • 500k LINE friends 350% increased in web traffic 2,000% increased in call center traffic All this within 3 months after launched (July 2014)


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Key Facebook Stats from Thailand Source: Syndacast 2014


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Line and Instagram Shaping M-Commerce Social Media in Thailand • Dubbed Instagram capital of the world in 2013 • • Thais spend around 4 hours a day online w/ mobile • • 3 hours 46 minutes of that on social media Instagram-Line-Commerce Phenomenon • https://www.techinasia.com/line-instagram-ecommerce-thailand/ Siam Paragon Mall most instagrammed place Browse on Instagram, purchase via Line


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Overview of Thai Startup Ecosystem Source: Thumbsup


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Events and Workshops Source: Thumbsup, Forbes


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Thailand’s Attractive Lifestyle • Bangkok was the world’s second most visited city in 2014 • +4M expats living in Thailand • Tropical climate, access to world’s top islands and beaches • Low personal income taxes • Need for niche talent leads to expat recruitment in tech • Lazada, Zalora, Rocket Internet, True, aCommerce all hire expatriate workers to fill specialized slots • For most startups, Thai language is a bonus but not needed


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Many Activities Since 2014 Pomelo gets $1.6M early stage funding to spread Korean fashion in SEA


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Many Activities Since 2014


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Interests from International Investors Our example: Ardent itself has investment from Sinar Mas, Recruit, GMO and Siemer and has co-invested with these companies


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Our View: The Next Big Online Businesses eCommerce: B2C, C2C marketplace and B2B Transports and logistics Online/Mobile payment Fin Tech


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Big Players are Paving the Way • 2012 and before • • had had • • Feb 2013: hosted hosted • May 2013: launched • May 2013: hosted • Jan 2014: • Mar 2015: launched launched in ASEAN


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Trends Happening in the US Sharing economy: marketplace + on-demand fulfilment for everything?


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Global Trends Asian messaging leaders may move into becoming Central Communicatio n Hub with commerce, transportation, payment services


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Key Takeaways • Young (74% of demographics) • Increasing purchasing power • Tech savvy • Social media is everything (high concern on social status) • Plentiful resources in ecosystem and growing • Dream lifestyle • Capital available • Many activities since 2014 from nothing (6 out of 9 are eCommerce related) • Less competition and huge opportunities


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Thank You Tee Suraphongchai tee@ardentcapital.com Twitter: @ardentcapital Visit us at www.ardentcapital.com


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