Natsakon Kiatsuranon, Founder, ShopSpot on Thai mobile shopping app’s growth
ShopSpot was started in February last year by Natsakon Kiatsuranon as a second hand marketplace, but later on Natsakon was quick to realize the opportunity in mobile commerce. He pivoted to become a mobile commerce platform for lifestyle merchants and retailers.
Natsakon graduated with a Bachelors in Economics in 2007. Soon after which he started his first company which was into software development. He wanted to build a product of his own, and that is when the idea of ShopSpot struck Natsakon. In 2012, he started ShopStop.
He applied to JFDI.Asia and got selected to participate at the incubator. In Natsakon’s words, “We started at JFDI with just an idea, we were accelerated at JFDI for 100 days and came out with a working prototype of Shopstop. Once we finished at JFDI, we got invested from SingTel Innov8 and Jungle Ventures. We are very lucky to be backed by them.”
Speaking of traction, Natsakon says, “On a monthly basis, our growth rate is 25% and engagement rate is also growing at 50%. As of now, our users are mostly from Thailand. Once we hit a critical mass of half a million users in Thailand, we will focus on expanding to other regions as well.” The app is free and is very simple to use. Indonesia and Philippines would be the first two regions that ShopSpot would like to expand after Thailand.
ShopSpot is a team of 11 people based out of Bangkok. Natsakon spends his time back and forth between Singapore and Bangkok. “My investors are in Singapore, and I go to meet them often. It is hard to raise money and build a tech business in Thailand, there is a lot more opportunity for startups to raise capital in Singapore. But things are improving very fast in Thailand now. I remember two years back when I started up, there was no ecosystem for startups in Thailand. But now we have co-working spaces, incubators (mostly run by telcos), and investors.”
For ShopSpot’s team the challenges have never been around the market opportunity as Thailand is a very mobile-first market. Setting up a easy to use marketplace was hard for the founder as he had no experience doing this kind of business before.
ShopSpot allows for merchants to market their products to a targeted audience, this is where the firms revenue comes from. Natsakon and his team are looking to raise Series A in an year from you to further propel the growth and Southeast Asia expansion.
On a parting note, Natsakon added, “We want Shopstop to be the number one mobile commerce platform in this region. We want to create a new way in which people interact and engage in shopping on mobile platforms. Our biggest USP is our user experience, and we want to create the best experiences for shoppers on mobile.”
We wish Natsakon and his team much success with his ambitious goals, we will track their progress and keep you posted.