Billionaire Seaweed Snack Mogul Backs Thailand-Based Events And Ticketing Startup

In proof that investors can come in all shapes and sizes, a billionaire seaweed snack mogul in Thailand has invested in one of the country’s up-and-coming startups.

Ittipat “Tob” Peeradechapan, who owns Tao Kae Noi — a company that sells fried seaweed snacks across Asia and raised $53 million in an IPO last year — is one existing backer of Event Pop, an event management and ticketing startup in Bangkok which just raised a $500,000 seed round.

Peeradechapan, who is 31-years-old and not known for being a tech investor, didn’t participate in this new round, but this is the first time that Event Pop — which was founded in 2015 — has disclosed his financial involvement, which we understand to be upwards of $500,000.

“Tob really took part in accelerating our growth,” Event Pop CEO and co-founder Pattaraporn “Max” Bodhisuwan told TechCrunch. “With his input and mentorship, he has helped us to grow from zero to where we are today. If we didn’t have him, it would have taken a lot longer.”

Peeradechapan, who was a billionaire at the age of 23 and had his early life made into a film, has provided Event Pop’s funding thus far, but Singapore-based KK Fund led this seed round, which includes participation from OPT SEA — the VC arm attached to Japanese marketing firm OPT — and M&S Partners’ Hirokazu Mashita.

A number of event and ticketing startups have come out of Asia’s startup world, such as Peatix in Japan, but Bodhisuwan told us that Thailand’s event and ticket space is “ripe for disruption” while Event Pop is doing more than just ticketing or events. It wants to bring both together and help event management companies run ongoing campaigns and continually engage users rather than activities that are siloed around events.

In Thailand, Bodhisuwan said, a few big companies are dominant, and that has caused them to go “stale” and fall behind by not take advantage of new technology. To date, Event Pop has managed more than 100,000 tickets sales for more than 300 events — that’s two percent marketshare in just six months of business, according to Bodhisuwan, who is predicting the startup’s growth will increase ten fold this year.

“We’ve been quietly building our business helping event promoters make the most of new technology and now, with our seed funding closed, we want to talk about how we can disrupt the industry and give event organizers the kind of tools and services that they’ve been crying out for,” he added in a statement.

Event Pop is firmly focused on the Thai market for now, but, with investment from partners in Southeast Asia and Japan, it has plans to expand regionally soon.