More startups in Southeastern Asia have been transforming themselves from a typical startup into a legitimate company where they are able to grow and even expand to other markets. Add Thailand’s Ookbee to that list as they announced recently that they raised about $2 million in funding from Intouch. Shin Corp. owns Intouch and also mobile operator AIS as they now have a 25% share of the startup that is valued at $8 million. Ookbee is a Thai-based ebook specialist for those that don’t know who they are. They have an 85% share of the domestic ebook market because of their partnerships with big brands such as The Nation, T3, OK! Magazine, and more. Most of their content can be found in Ookbee’s iOS and Android apps along with buying ebooks digitally in their store. They also have been only around for just two years and having over 15 million users in that timespan is quite impressive. Raising that much money considering how old they are is also another impressive feat for them.
The ebook industry has been rapidly getting bigger and bigger because of how successful tablets have been the past couple of years. Ookbee has been able to take advantage of the tablet boom with such devices as Apple’s iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy tablets and is already talking expansion. They seem to be the exception when it comes to expanding to other markets since most startups from Southeast Asia tend to stick in their comfort zone of their local market with no plans to expand. It is nice to see Ookbee take that chance to see what other Asian markets can bring to the table for their ebook service. They already made their mark in Malaysia and Vietnam, but more populated areas like China and Japan can be next on their list in the future. This is the type of jump Ookbee needs to become more known worldwide than just staying successful in Southeastern Asia.
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