Paronym, a Tokyo-headquartered startup that develops and provides an interactive video solution, has closed US$6.5 million in Series B investment round, led by Japan Post Capital and NTT Docomo Ventures.
InVent, the corporate venture capital arm of Bangkok-based Intouch Holdings, also joined the round.
Intouch is a holding company with investments in the telecom, media, and technology (TMT) sector, including digital businesses, and is the parent of Advanced Info Services (AIS) and Thaicom.
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Launched in 2016, Paronym has developed a SaaS product called TIG, which is positioned as the next-generation interactive video technology that can tag information onto the objects in the video, so that users can retrieve beyond superficial information.
The B2B product boasts a clean user experience that does not intrude the video and allows viewers to intuitively understand which interest can be touched to engage richer information.
Paronym’s customers are mobile operators, OTT service providers, retail brands and government tourism.
The startup now wants to introduce TIG-enabled videos for all types of content worldwide, including e-commerce, music, education, tourism, healthcare.
Dr. Narongpon Boonsongpaisan, Head of InVent, said: “TIG is a platform to enable the interactive video technology to the e-commerce sites. With TIG media, brands can automatically convert the engagement into transactions.”
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He opined that the tech can be applied to various segments — from e-commerce, advertising, training, games, to healthcare. He expected that in response to the coming of 5G technology, TIG will enhance and bring the possibilities with faster connection and connectivity.
TIG services can also be used in fields such as tourism, education, ads and product sales, and can provide the optimal solution for each purpose.
“Paronym can help many brands to gain higher conversion rate than other types of social media. We see this potential as the future for digital ads to create new enriched experiences to customers and generate more opportunities for SMEs and corporates in Thailand, Japan and Southeast Asia (SEA) in the future,” Boonsongpaisan stated.
According to Michio Kobayashi, CEO of Paronym, the company aims to provide innovative services in the video market in Thailand in the future.
Thailand, the largest digitally-advanced nation in SEA, has an e-commerce penetration rate of over 40 per cent. The domestic e-commerce market is predicted to grow from US$900 million in 2015 to US$13 billion in 2024.
“With the new capital investment and the strategic collaborations, Paronym will accelerate the expansion into SEA market, especially Thailand, to bring the best technology we have been developing in Japan. At the same time, we would like to bring back new achievements in Thailand to Japan,” Kobayashi said.
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“Therefore, we are looking forward to building a strong partnership with Intouch and AIS to create the new sensation in the video market. We aim to first enhance our presence in Thailand and eventually establish it as a service that is socially implemented in Southeast Asia,” the Paronym chief said.
Paronym aims to expand the lineup of TIG services to meet the wide range demands of the Japanese market and aims for the same development for overseas markets.
It will further accelerate its R&D and sales activities in anticipation of the transformation of the video market due to the arrival of the 5G era.
InVent is a corporate invests in high-growth and emerging technology startups in Thailand, Southeast Asia and other regions. It focuses on a wide range of sectors, such as telecom and infrastructure, IT-related businesses, digital lifestyle, cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence, 5G, IoT, cybersecurity, smart cities, and other smart solutions.
Since 2012, InVent has already invested in more than 20 startups covering a range of industries and technology.
Image Credit: Intouch
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