Thai handmade marketplace Blisby raises $300K from DeNA, East Ventures, 500 Startups



See the original story in Japanese.

Blisby, a Thailand-based handmade marketplace focused on serving the Southeast Asian region, announced today that it has raised $300,000 in a recent round. This round was led by Japan’s DeNA and East Ventures with participation from 500 Durians and 500 Tuk Tuks, regiocentric funds focused on Southeast Asia and Thailand by 500 Startups.

Since its launch back in November 2013, Blisby has acquired 1 million pageviews and 350,000 monthly active users as of March, increasing a user base in a month-over-month growth rate of 20%. The company will use the funds to expand their business beyond Thailand to other neighboring markets in the Southeast Asia region.

Blisby’s founder Phuvadol Thongthavorn was born and raised in the U.S.; prior to launching Blisby, he worked at Yahoo and Sony in California. In 2010, he decided to move from California to New York but stopped for a short break in Thailand to ordain as a Buddhist monk, where his experience during the visit prompted him to launch Blisby in Thailand without going back to the U.S. by establishing a business of Thai contemporary arts that Thongthavorn had been looking at for a long time.

There are many players fiercely competing in this space, including Etsy and Fab in the U.S., Pinkoi in Taiwan, in addition to Anders/Creema,Tenote and Minne, not to mention Iichi in Japan. Particularly, Etsy will be listed at NASDAQ next Wednesday, which may be the largest for a New York-based technology company in 16 years.

Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy