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Home-grown platform EKO poised for EU, US expansion 

Dec 01. 2018
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By The Nation ​Weekend

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Eko, a mobile-first collaboration and communications platform for businesses, has raised a US$20 million (Bt658 million) Series B financing round led by SMDV, with participation from AirAsia’s digital investment arm, Redbeat Ventures, Gobi Partners, East Ventures and existing shareholders.

The London and Bangkok-based company has seen revenues more than triple in the past year and now counts over half a million recurring paid users across sectors including retail, hospitality, banking and other service-based industries. 

This round will provide Eko with funds to further accelerate its expansion in Europe and North America. 

Eko’s platform, which is currently used by hundreds of companies including leading groups such as Thanachart Bank and True Corporation, has been built to solve a growing problem for businesses that rely on mobile-first, distributed non-desk based workforces. 

These companies have increasingly seen their employees create informal communication chat groups and processes using existing consumer applications, which in turn creates security, confidentiality and GDPR issues.

Eko’s solution solves this problem by providing a secure platform for employees and management to communicate and collaborate in real time. It provides users with a host of easy-to-use functionality, including communications, business process management (workflows), project management and knowledge management. It is also highly flexible, providing numerous APIs that allow for the integration of legacy systems and bots. 

Since launching its sales, business and partnership operations in Europe earlier this year, the company has seen its global sales pipeline grow by more than 10 times, with the majority of client opportunities now coming from Europe and North America. Eko has established a strong partner base in Europe and is currently engaged in pilots with many of the region’s largest businesses. 

Moving forward, it plans to spend funds to continue the expansion of its European and US teams with the aim of significantly increasing the company’s partner and customer base in the regions. 

Korawad Chearavanont, Eko’s founder and chief executive, noted that the EU’s economy is roughly seven times larger than that of Southeast Asia’s, while that of the US is roughly the same size as Europe. 

The difference in the size of the enterprise IT market is even wider as the EU and the US spend heavily on software. Thus, if Eko is to achieve the necessary scale to become a serious global player in the mobile enterprise market, continued growth in these markets is critical.

Eko’s team of over 100 is spread out among offices in Bangkok, London, Amsterdam, Berlin and New York. The latest round comes on top of $8.7 million previously raised, including an A round led by Gobi Ventures, a Seed round led by 500 Startups and a strategic investment from Itochu Corporation.

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