Japan’s Withfluence ties up with Thai telco True to boost influencer marketing in Asia

The signing ceremony held at the Japanese ambassador’s residence in Bangkok, Thailand on Wednesday.
In the front row, L to R: Hiroyuki Okamoto (CEO, Withfluence), Teerapon Tanomsakyut (Chief Innovation and Sustainability Officer, True)
In the back row, L to R: Hiroki Mitsumata (Head of JETRO Bangkok office), Shiro Sadoshima (Japanese Ambassador to Thailand), Achaka Sriboonruang (Minister of Science and Technology of Thailand), Adhiruth Thothaveesansuk (Co-President of True and Group COO)
Image credit: Fumi Tanaka aka Bunshow

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo- / Bangkok- / Singapore-based Withfluence, the Japanese company providing an influencer marketing management platform for Asian markets under the same name, signed an MoU (memorandum of understanding) with Thailand’s second largest telco True on Wednesday.

Withfluence was founded in May of 2016 by Hiroyuki Okamoto (current CEO) who previously ran a media and advertising company in Vietnam, and Keiichi Honma (current CTO) who had been developing web services and translation apps for foreigners visiting Japan. Before Withfluence, Okamoto and Honma had developed an instant e-commerce platform described as “Asia’s version of Shopify” and based in Thailand, but changed directions before attending Open Network Lab’s 12th Accelerator Program and launching Withfluence in August of last year.

Included in this business alliance is to give the opportunity to act as an influencer on social media to actresses, actors, talent, and singers belonging to True Music (True’s entertainment division), as well as the development of processes to simplify promotion campaign requests from companies outside of Thailand, and optimizing the algorithms matching influencers with companies leveraging cognitive computing. Withfluence and True in making full use of each other’s management resources will collaborate on joint service development and distribution of the social media marketing business in Southeast Asia.

This business alliance is born from Withflurnce’s participation in the Embassy Pitch event organized by the Embassy of Thailand and the JETRO Bangkok Office in September of last year, and which also triggered the launch of the Japan-Thailand Innovation Support Network (JTIS; of which, Okamoto is serving as a director). This partnership was carried out through True Incube, True’s investment and innovation division, and the signing ceremony was held at the Japanese ambassador’s residence in Thailand on Thursday the 29th, including not only Okamoto and the True management team, but also Shiro Sadoshima, the Japanese ambassador to Thailand and Atchaka Sibunruang, the Minister of Science and Technology of Thailand.

The following is an excerpt for Okamoto’s comments.

The Government of Thailand in becoming unified with the public under the slogan of “digital economic policy” is aiming to become a hub in Southeast Asia.

We believe True, with their own TV channel, will be our strongest partner in the entertainment business of Southeast Asia. And, to meet expectations from True, we are willing to support their business development of True in other Asian countries including Japan.

Withfluence currently offers services in Japanese, English, Thai, Vietnamese, and Traditional Chinese (for Taiwan and Hong Kong). In allying with True, it appears the company is concentrating on fundraising and expanding their sales, and also focusing on new Asian markets.

Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda