Digital agency start-up inks deal with NTT DoCoMo'S D2C to expand in Southeast Asia
Start-up MCFiVA (Thailand) has made a joint-venture agreement with Japan’s D2C Inc, a subsidiary of NTT DoCoMo, to expand its digital-agency business throughout Southeast Asia.
MCFiVA’s founder and managing director Supachai Parchariyanon said the 49:51 joint venture would help his company expand into mobile advertising and marketing services as well as games.
D2C invested Bt150 million in MCFiVA. The company’s plan is to develop mobile marketing awareness through research and development; to develop mobile social game service in Thailand; and to expand business in Southeast Asia.
“It is our great delight and excitement to have a very strong partner like D2C Inc. Together with our extensive experience in mobile and digital advertising, this will be just a starting point for our collaboration, with more to come,” Supachai said.
He added that D2C would join forces with MCFiVA to expand the mobile advertising business in Thailand and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. This is the right time for mobile marketing in Thailand, which boasts nearly 120-per-cent mobile-phone penetration, while more than a third of Thais access the Web through their mobile devices. This presents a significant opportunity for brands to reach out to consumers.
According to the Digital Advertising Association of Thailand, ad spending on digital in Thailand will grow by 34 per cent this year to Bt3.73 billion, up from Bt2.78 billion in 2012.
“The deal comes at an exciting time in the region, which is experiencing a significant increase in the penetration of smart devices. Today’s mobile phone has become a core device from which consumers receive information and stay connected,” Supachai said.
MCFiVA (Thailand), founded in 2011, is a digital agency providing a full range of services including strategic planning, advertising and branding, media and searches, social-engagement marketing, analytics, and technology architecture and development.
Currently, it has 10 key accounts including such international brands as Toyota, Unilever, Mead Johnson, Visa, AIA and Air France/KLM.
“From now on, our core competencies will not be only strategic planning and creativity for brand communication and marketing but the mobile arena will be another centre of excellence of us,” he said.
“In Thailand, the mobile penetration rate is at a peak, so there is no better time for full-scale mobile marketing. Our mission is to deliver customised interactive marketing solutions, tailored to each client’s business and communication goals. We are focused on helping companies … market better digitally, especially through the Internet and mobile.”
He added that Thailand was in the right position to attract investment as it is in a strategic location in the Asean market apart from having a large domestic market itself.
D2C chief executive officer Takayuki Hoshuyama said the alliance with MCFiVA was undertaken with the intent of strengthening business expansion through the establishment of networks among Asian countries.
D2C has been expanding in mainland China, Taiwan, India and Indonesia through establishment of subsidiaries and alliances with local agencies.
“D2C will leverage MCFiVA’s customer channels and furnish it with mobile advertising and marketing know-how cultivated in the Japan market, in order to reinforce its endeavours in the digital marketing space, including mobile, in Southeast Asia with its high mid- and long-term growth prospects,” Hoshuyama said.
D2C, headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo, is the first company in the world to specialise in mobile advertisement and marketing. It was founded on June 1, 2000, as a joint venture of NTT DoCoMo, Dentsu and NTT Advertising Inc.
D2C operates in three areas: advertising and marketing, consumer business, and international business. The last involves advertising and marketing operations centring on Asia.
Supachai hopes this case will inspire other start-ups. He said they should stay on focus consistently to pursue success. Importantly, start-ups should have a clear revenue stream. They have to find out which business model brings in revenue, and not just concentrate on attracting a huge number of users who don’t generate much income.
“Apart from the right business model, good teams and good management are also important for success for start-ups,” he said.