LINE ScaleUp: Innovative Startup with access to 42 million customers
The LINE social media network, with its customer base of 42 million people in Thailand, has launched the LINE ScaleUp project, designed to help startups get access to financial resources and also LINE’s customers at the same time.
Mr Ariya Banomyong, managing director of LINE Thailand, said one significant issue for startups worldwide is how to survive. To be a successful mobile application that customers frequently use, the app must have at least 1 million users. How to reach those users becomes a crucial problem to solve for new applications
“From our survey, even though there are millions of mobile phone applications available, most users access only three-five apps per day,” Mr Ariya said.
For this reason, LINE Thailand has introduced LINE ScaleUp, allowing Thai startups to access LINE’s 42 million customers in Thailand and become part of the LINE team.
The project was officially launched in March.
Thailand currently has about 100 pre-seed startups and around 40 seeds ready to be set up as a company worth a total of US$7 million (224.7 million baht). Series A funding accounts for about US$100 million in startup investments, while investments of Series B and C rounds are worth about US$50 million.
The Line ScaleUp project is thus suitable for promising startups that have business plans with great potential and who would benefit from accessing LINE’s customer base.
“LINE application developers can help provide support and consultations for startups. If the businesses have potential to grow or succeed, we are ready to make an investment or acquire the businesses. We have allocated an initial budget of 10 million baht to invest in potential startups,” said Mr Ariya.
In July 2017, LINE Thailand bought DGM59, a local startup that produces custom software for marketing purposes. It was the company’s first local acquisition. LINE Thailand is aggressively looking for further investments in other startups with innovative business ideas with excellent growth potential.