Zanroo to be martech unicorn
Zanroo, a Thai marketing technology (martech) startup, expects to be the first Thai unicorn startup by 2019 when it will have a presence in 40 global markets and obtain US$30 million in revenue, close to 1 billion baht.
Founded in 2013 by Chitpol Mungprom and Udomsak Donkhampai, Zanroo was a two-person company whose first customers were a gas company, an auto glass filmmaker and a computer firm.
"Those were what we spotted on billboards while we were driving on the tollway, so we called and directly proposed our solutions to them, and that was the starting point for Zanroo," said Mr Chitpol, co-founder and chief executive of the company.
Zanroo specialises in "insight discovery" provides its services spanning across social listening, social engagement and consultancy.
With strong competence in big data analytics, Zanroo's software enables real-time performance and data tracking complete with analyses and trends to help brands maximise the benefits of actionable insights in their marketing moves, crisis prevention and management, etc. Within four years, the company has grown exponentially, having built a multi-industry client base of more than 300 brands in banking, automotive, telecom, e-commerce, aviation and consumer goods sectors, etc.
Today Zanroo is active in 15 markets, with more than 150 employees in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Britain.
"Zanroo has recorded year-on-year growth from 200% up to 400%," Mr Chitpol said, adding that the global market for martech and adtech (advertising technology) services is worth $24.18 billion.
Through a partnership with fundraising consultancy Shift Ventures, Zanroo recently raised $7.4 million in its Series A financing round from private funds, institutional investors, notable business owners and individuals to finance inroads into martech across Asia, the US and Europe.
Shift Ventures has taken a key role in Zanroo's new move, including business structuring and advisory for global expansion, introduction to clients in various industries, market opportunity analysis, and business matching with local partners to pave the way for international expansion.
Worawisut Pinyoyang, chief executive and founder of Shift Ventures, said Zanroo is different from other startups because it focuses on customers rather than investors.
"Zanroo is the first startup that Shift Ventures invested in," Mr Worawisut said, adding that Shift is now considering a few startups in property tech and fintech.
Mr Udomsak said Zanroo's social listening and social engagement tools delve deep into the online social media realm of each market of interest with high linguistic literacy of all local languages across the world. In terms of consultancy, the company helps brands turn these actionable insights into marketing assets for strategic planning that will ensure winning moves and effective crisis interception and management.
"Zanroo is also the first company in this field to have been awarded an ISO 27001 certification for customer data protection," he said.
The company has developed Arun, claiming the one of its kind with well-though, well-designed algorithms.
The name was inspired by Wat Arun, or the Temple of Dawn, as the world-renowned temple is known as the most beautiful stupa in Thailand. The name "Arun" is therefore an ideal representation of Thai origins, Mr Udomsak said.
He explained that Arun is has the ability to process big data quickly and intelligently. For the first time in the world of digital marketing communication, the tracking of paid, owned and earned media has been integrated to measure return on investment.
Zanroo join an international roadshow starting late this year into early next year, heading to cities in the US, China and Europe.
"We envision Zanroo as the first Thai brand to become a unicorn startup and one of the world's top 10 martech companies," Mr Chitpol said.