Shopspot, a startup out of Thailand with a mobile shopping app, has won $628,000 (S$779,000) after switching its shopper matchmaking app to a more traditional shopping interface.
Its earlier app focused on connecting individuals keen to sell their wares. The app would pair sellers and their goods with buyers based on geolocation. Released today, the new version bills itself as a “mobile shopping platform”, which adds goods from merchants and brands.
Co-founder and CEO, Natsakon Kiatsuranon, said: “The Craigslist model doesn’t seem to work well in Asia. We observed that two months after launch.” The plan to add retailers was also in response to demand from local shops which wanted a mobile sales channel to jump onto, he said.
Global audiences will have to wait. For now, the service is available just in Thailand, while the company works out any teething problems. It plans a Southeast Asia roll-out after this,
The new round of funding comes from Jungle Ventures and SingTel Innov8. The funding from Jungle Ventures is backed by the Singapore government’s National Research Foundation (NRF) under its Technology Incubation Scheme (TIS), which means the NRF comes out with 85 percent of the sum, with Jungle Ventures pledging 15 percent.
Last year in April, the startup received an undisclosed sum from angels in Thailand, led by Thai investor Kris Nalamlieng to kick off its earlier peer-to-peer model. This was after Shopspot graduated from a bootcamp created by JFDI (Joyful Frog Digital Incubator) and Innov8 in 2012.
With the new business model, Shopspot also announced that Thomas Clayton, CEO of Sequoia-backed mobile firm BubbleMotion, joined its board of advisors.
Update: Added responses from Shopspot’s Kiatsuranon.