Thai tech start-up sets up London HQ after $20m raise
Eko, a workplace collaboration and communications platform based in Bangkok, has raised funding of $20 million to set up a new London HQ and speed up its European expansion.
The series B financing came from SMDV, the venture capital arm of Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas Group, with participation from AirAsia’s digital investment arm, RedBeat Ventures, Gobi Partners, East Ventures and existing shareholders.
Eko's platform was built to solve a growing problem for businesses that rely on mobile-first, non-desk based workforces who create informal communication chat groups and processes using existing messaging apps.
In addition to a secure platform for communication and collaboration, the platform provides users with a range of functionality, including project management and workflows.
It also provides numerous APIs that allow for the integration of legacy systems and bots.
"To date, digital communication and productivity platforms have focused on appealing to a largely desk-based, highly tech-savvy workforce, who are confident using an array of digital tools," said CEO and founder Korawad Chearavanont, an heir to the Chearavanont family's business empire.
"This has left a large portion of the UK's workforce without a communication tool fit for purpose and teams have often had to rely on consumer messaging platforms to fill the gap, creating significant inefficiencies as well as a myriad of security issues."
Eko claims to have tripled its revenues in the past year with more than 500,000 recurring paid users across sectors including retail, hospitality and banking.
Since launching its sales, business and partnership operations in Europe earlier this year, the company has seen its global sales pipeline grow more than tenfold, with the majority of client opportunities now coming from Europe and North America.
The fresh funding will enable Eko to further accelerate its expansion in Europe and North America. It has today also announced new office openings in Chancery Lane in London, Weteringschans in Amsterdam and in Berlin.
Chearavanont added: "We have seen enormous demand from companies across sectors and this fundraiser will help us roll out Eko to more and more customers across Europe and the US."
One of Eko's customers in the UK is aparthotel brand Leman Locke.
General manager Ashley Ely said the platform has "revolutionised the way our employees communicate and collaborate across all departments".
"It is a fantastic application that is an integral part of our operations," he added.
Eko's app is currently available in English, Thai, German, Dutch and French, with plans to expand to Scandinavia, Spain, Italy, Latin America, Australia and Canada in the first quarter of 2019.