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InVent by INTOUCH invests Bt40m in Ecartstudio Big growth foreseen in Smart-City platforms that make life more convenient

Bangkok, February 20, 2019 – InVent, the venture-capital arm of Intouch Holdings Plc (SET: INTUCH), has invested Bt40 million in a Series B financing round for Ecartstudio, one of Thailand’s leading enterprise location-based application developers and consultants. Ecartstudio’s latest development is a Smart-City Platform for Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) interactions, to support the smart-city concept and promote a more convenient lifetstyle, with users enjoying ‘time well spent’. The funding will be used to expand Ecartstudio’s business and support the development of products and services that are expected to make it the leader in smart-city platforms in Thailand within three to five years.
Dr. Narongpon Boonsongpaisan, Head of InVent, the venture-capital arm of Intouch Holdings Plc, said that “location- and map-based applications were very useful for many businesses, such as when searching for restaurants, food and product deliveries, ordering taxis, media advertisements and sales promotions via mobile phones. Ecartstudio is leading the development of location-based services technology, to address the needs of consumers, businesses and even the government in offering services and manipulating the city to increase efficiency, create revenue and reduce costs. The use of location-based applications by service businesses, retail, transportation, real estate, media advertising and other businesses has huge potential for growth,”
“With the skills of Ecartstudio’s founder and team, InVent is confident in its capacity for fast growth in the future. It is capable of developing innovations to address customers’ needs and to help businesses become more efficient by increasing their revenue while reducing their costs. Eventually, it is capable of impacting economy development as a whole,” Dr. Narongpon added.
Mr. Wutthikorn Manomaiwiboon, Chief Executive Officer of Ecartstudio, said “his company was pleased that INTOUCH’s belief in Ecartstudio’s abilities led to the investment. It had created a major business opportunity for Ecartstudio to become a strategic partner of INTOUCH, which was an experienced leader in telecommunications, media and technology. The move would leverage his company’s ability to expand its customer base, its business network and corporate customers, as well as enabling it to penetrate regional markets. The investment will be used to develop products and services as well as increasing Ecartstudio’s staff, in order to achieve its goal of becoming the leader in smart-city platforms and addressing many aspects of customer usage over the next three to five years.”
Over the past two years, Ecartstudio has developed smart-city platforms for both B2B and B2C interaction. These have been additional to its development of web-based and enterprise-location-based applications. Smartphones are playing an increasingly important role in people’s daily lives, from communications to information searching, receiving information, and entertainment. Ecartstudio sees business opportunities in offering lifestyle-based services and meeting customers’ needs for greater convenience by making worthwhile time-savings in their lives, transport needs, healthcare and shopping. Applications on Ecartstudio’s B2C smart-city platform include ServLive, which is designed to meet the lifestyle needs of people living in condominiums; ServCard, an application that turns member cards into digital cards; Taxi-Beam and Bus-Beam, enabling easy and convenient access to public transport; and InMall, an application using augmented-reality (AR) technology to create new shopping experiences.
On its B2B smart-city platform, Ecartstudio has designed and developed a location-based information system (LBIS); a location information-management system (LIMS); and EcartMap, to support the country’s infrastructure development and management. It covers transportation, energy, water management and communication systems. Moreover, the platform is sufficiently flexible to enable its adaptation to the needs of any corporation or organization, either private- or government-sector. In its corporate use, the smart-city platform applies technologies to support access to public utilities and to enable ‘city manipulation’ to reduce operational costs.
Currently, 40 percent of Ecartstudio’s customers are from the private sector and 60 percent from the government sector. The company is striving to expand both its B2B and B2C smart-city platforms in both the corporate and consumer markets. By 2020, it expects to have about 1 million individual customers around the country. Moreover, Ecartstudio plans to expand into overseas markets, starting with Brunei and Indonesia by offering its ServLive and ServCard applications. There is less competition in these countries and local partners are needed to help penetrate local markets. The overseas move is believed to offer major opportunities for growth and expansion of the company’s customer bases.