By Asina Pornwasin
D8ii last week announced a new fundraising round of US$3 million (about Bt105 million) from Kuvera Capital Group, a Thailand-based investment company, which led the opening of this investment round.
D8ii, founded in 2013, is an international professional-services company that focuses on digital consultancy, technology, research and innovation. The company provides expertise for companies that want to utilise digital disruption of traditional business models with a high focus on mobile technologies, AR/VR (augmented and virtual reality), social media and digital marketing.
Jayson Ho, founder and president of D8ii, said the investments would enable the company to increase its human-resource capacity to meet demand from Thai companies to integrate greater tech tools by developing and implementing business strategies to compete within a fast-moving digital landscape.
“This would be technology outsourcing, a full development team for projects, consultancy to do with management, leadership and transition of technology, recruitment and also licensing of IP, which is one of our new products.
“In the next four years we want to move into physical technology, not just digital technology. This includes things like IoT, nanochips, microchips, geolocation chips and technology, smart devices and actual physical mobile devices,” Ho said.
Of the $3 million, 48 per cent will be spent on hiring new developers and training, 25 per cent on further developing licence and patent intellectual property, 20 per cent on marketing and 6 per cent on operational capital.
By 2020, D8ii has a goal to employ a team of around 1,000, 75 per cent of them Thais, with strategic sales offices primarily within Thailand alongside the company’s headquarters.
To enhance this skill set, the firm will also implement the D8ii Scholarship Programme for Thai information-technology graduates in the second or third quarter of this year.
The $1.5-million fund, providing scholarships of nine months to one year, will enable graduates to learn advanced technology such as Node.js within D8ii.
The company says it is a leader in this platform, which is not currently taught within Thailand. Ho said Node.js was the development platform currently used by Uber and Paypal extensively, and the reason for this is that it reduces the cost of development by about 50 per cent and allows businesses to get to market faster.
One of the key areas of business for D8ii, aside from consultancy and tech services, is to provide start-ups and established businesses needing a digital overhaul an avenue in which they can utilise new technologies effectively and affordably.
Ho said that in the United States and Britain, start-ups can afford the market rate for developers, in Southeast Asia this is not the case for most start-ups. “So we decided to re-evaluate with all of the IP and the source codes that we have now and restructure this into a licensing-leasing deal. The easiest way is to explain this is that it is like a car lease, where they would pay us back for the value of tech plus interest over the period of X amount of years, for example.”
This involves providing a system of software licensing for components and full applications instead of full-cost development.
One of its start-up customers is Sift Security, an enterprise-security firm that is leveraging big data and advanced analytics to enable enterprises to identify, prioritise and investigate risks efficiently inside their enterprise.
D8ii also provides ad hoc development for Sift Security when