#Asia Price comparison platform Priceza gets Series B from Germany’s Hubert Burda Media

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Priceza operates in six countries, including Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam, with over 13 million monthly visitors

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Priceza, a shopping search engine and price comparison platform in Southeast Asia, has secured a “seven-figure USD range and significantly higher than Series A funding” in Series B round from German media giant Hubert Burda Media (HBM).

The investment was made through HBM’s VC arm Burda Principal Investments (BPI).

HBM has taken over the initial stake from CyberAgent Ventures (CAV) giving them a 24.9 per cent share in Thailand-based Priceza.

Founded in 2010 by Thanawat Malabuppha, Vachara Nivataphand and Wirod Supadul, Priceza operates in six countries (Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam) with over 13 million monthly visitors. The platform has a product database of over 59 million items.

In Thailand alone, Priceza has over 7.5 million monthly active users.

Priceza CEO Malabuppha said: “For Priceza, it’s a significant milestone; recognition as a strong, international tech-based company. Being backed by a strategic, global investor like HBM, who shares our mission, enables us to leverage their digital expertise and in depth media understanding to deliver the best online shopping services to consumers across SEA.”

Hubert Burda Media, headquartered in Munich, is an international technology and media company with over 540 brands and products that are oriented to the needs of consumers. Burda has 175 million users and approximately 60 million paying consumers. Burda is active in 19 markets in Europe, the US and Asia. Its portfolio companies include etsy.com (invested since 2006) or Xing (invested since 2009).

“We are looking at increasing our investments in SEA and Priceza seemed a natural choice because of how it has grown from an idea from three Thai computer engineers in 2010 to a high-profile platform spanning 6 countries,” said Fredrich von Scanzoni, CEO at Burda Asia.

“This is in alignment of our strategy to invest in a great team and in a robust e-commerce ecosystem. We have been investing in e-commerce companies for the past 20 years and understand the price comparison space very well. With Priceza joining our portfolio, they will bring deep insights into the region and together we can build Priceza to be a significant player and market leader in SEA,” said Friedrich.

Set up in 2015, BPI offers long-term growth equity for fast-growing digital technology and media companies.

According to the Euromonitor, Bofa Merrill Lynch’s eCommerce Report, e-commerce shopping accounts for a mere 1-2 per cent of total retail sales in SEA, compared to 16 per cent in Korea, 9 per cent in the US and 8 per cent global average. With the growing e-commerce ecosystem in the region, having the support of HBM will firmly place Priceza as the number one online shopping search engine in this region and provide the fuel for rapid growth.

The post Price comparison platform Priceza gets Series B from Germany’s Hubert Burda Media appeared first on e27.

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Gfycat – user-generated content platform

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Gfycat A startup called Gfycat (which is pronounced “Jiffy Cat”) has raised a mammoth $10 million seed round to turn its already popular user-generated content platform into a revenue generating concern. On the content creation side of its business, the startup reports that 2.5 million unique users have already created 25 million “Gfycats,” or short, silent, looping animations… Read More

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Flywheel Taxi startup Flywheel is officially making its move into New York City, with the aim to better equip old-school taxis to take on Uber and Lyft. Flywheel recently received approval from the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission to operate TaxiOS, its smartphone-based taxi meter that comes with electronic dispatch, payments, navigation and GPS-based metering. Competitors like Arro by Creative… Read More

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Fastwork – freelance marketplace

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Fastwork - freelance marketplace

Fastwork co-founders from L-R: Jerd Phichitkul, Ben Vibhagool, Vasa Iamsuri, and Apon Palanuwech.

With more and more skilled professionals quitting their eight-to-five jobs for more flexibility, the freelance movement is in full swing. Vasa Iamsuri and Apon Palanuwech couldn’t afford to miss out on this opportunity so they started Fastwork, an online job marketplace in Thailand.

The startup matches companies, mainly small and medium enterprises, with over 3,000 freelancers who are experts in 50 categories such as software development, design and illustration, content marketing, and video editing. But it takes the competition to another level.

Unlike other freelancing sites, Fastwork protects both sides of the marketplace, says Vasa. Freelancers never have to do “free work.” For as long as they complete their projects according to agreed requirements and on time, they will be compensated – no matter what, he notes.

Clients, on the other hand, are assured of a secure transaction. Not only does Fastwork vet the freelancers on its site through background checks and a rating system, it also provides escrow services, which hold the payment until the client marks the work as satisfactory.

“There are a few players in Thailand but no one would take the responsibility of withholding/escrowing the customer’s money until the freelancer delivers the work, or ensuring the quality of their freelancers. They think it’s too much of a hassle and when something goes wrong, they would be liable for it,” Vasa claims. “This leaves a bad taste for everyone who walks into this space. Fastwork is instilling trust back into the community.”

Asked how they’re competing with mature marketplaces such as Freelancer which may have the same safeguards in place, Vasa points out that “our strong and loyal relationships with local businesses and high numbers of ratings and reviews that our freelancers have stacked up” increase the barrier to entry for any international or local competitors.

Vasa and Apon came up with the idea in early 2015 after coming home to Thailand from New York, where they had previously set up a data science startup. They wanted to build a company in Thailand but didn’t have an idea yet so they decided to freelance in the meantime. It wasn’t a new thing for them. In New York, the duo worked as freelancers full time at some point, accepting jobs in design and tech.

“But we didn’t have any connections and we couldn’t find a job anywhere in Thailand – it was missing this space. That’s how the idea for Fastwork was born,” Vasa recalls.

Together with two other co-founders, Ben Vibhagool and Jerd Phichitkul, they launched the startup in December last year.

Fastwork wins an invitation to the Web Summit 2016, a world-class startup exhibition in Lisbon, Portugal, during the Dtac demo day last August.

Fastwork wins an invitation to the Web Summit 2016, a world-class startup exhibition in Lisbon, Portugal, during the Dtac demo day last August.

Fastwork earns by charging freelancers a transaction fee of nine to 17 percent in exchange for finding them customers.

The company has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from 500 TukTuks, the microfund created by 500 Startups for Thailand, and Dtac, a subsidiary of Thai telco Telenor. It’s among the 10 finalists in batch four of Dtac’s accelerator program.

Vasa refuses to disclose Fastwork’s revenue figure, but he says it grew 11 times in four months after entering Dtac’s bootcamp in May. The startup has so far generated US$300,000 in income for freelancers and this number is growing at 37 percent month-on-month, he adds. Fastwork recently rolled out an app version.

This post Fastwork is a freelance marketplace that prevents people from getting ripped off appeared first on Tech in Asia.

Fastwork – freelance marketplace

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Fastwork – freelance marketplace

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Progressly – Business process platform