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500 Startups announces $10M TukTuks (ตุ๊กตุ๊ก) Fund

Jess Erickson
by

April 29, 2015

We’re proud to announce the launch of “500 TukTuks”, a $10M USD micro-fund focused on promising startups, managed by new 500 investing partners Krating Poonpol and Moo Natavudh. Why the name TukTuks? Well they are small, lean, fast, agile, and dangerous. JUST LIKE STARTUPS. We’re excited to take a trip through the winding roads of Thailand to discover smart, badass entrepreneurs.

Anti-Government Protesters Occupy Government Ministries

Why 500 TukTuks?

500 sees an opportunity to invest early and often into the next generation of Thailand’s most promising startups and empower them with best of Silicon Valley’s education, thinking, talent, and money to provide unfair advantage in the local market. 500 will be the first major SV accelerator and seed stage investor in the local Thai market and founders will gain access to our global network of high-value mentors and 2,000+ founders. 500 will look to invest in not just companies that can succeed in the local Asian market, but through its accelerator, find and work with Thai companies that can succeed in the US and global market.

500 TukTuks Management & Investment Team include:

Who are the local investment partners? 

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Previous to starting 500 TukTuks, Krating Poonpol was a Global Lead Marketing Manager of Google Earth and Head of Asia Pacific Quantitative Marketing at Google Asia. Having experience in supporting startups both bootstrapped and venture backed, Krating founded Distrupt, the #1 Startup Incubator Program in Thailand. Krating is also the Director of Founder Institute in Bangkok and advisor to ClaimDi.

“Thailand’s Startup Ecosystem is growing rapidly from next-to-nothing in 2012 to almost 25 M USD raised in 2014. With two sizable exits in 2014-2015 (one2car and ThinkOfLiving ), and a few “Centaurs” like Ookbee and aCommerce we are feeling confident. We hope, with 500TukTuks and 500 network, Thailand’s Startup Ecosystem will hopefully produce the first Unicorn and plenty of Centaurs…Thailand could potentially be at the center of startup ecosystem in SEA.” – Krating Poonpol, Venture Partner (Thailand)

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Moo Natavudh is a tech entrepreneur with over 15 years experience in founding, funding and managing tech companies. He is currently the Founder and CEO of OOKBEE, SEA’s biggest e-book store with market shares over 85% in Thailand. He’s already got a head start with 8 angel investments in Thailand over the past 12 months.

“Southeast Asia has never had so many VC funds. When we look at the region, most people are thinking of Indonesia, since it’s the largest market. However, I strongly believe that Thailand has huge potential with all the right ingredients: large market with customers that are willing to pay,  increasingly internet savvy population (social networks are hugely popular) and a strong infrastructure with talented folks who embrace entrepreneurial spirit. 500 Tuk Tuks will invest in at least 50 kickass Thai startups over the next few years.”  – Moo Natavudh, Venture Partner (Thailand)

Recent Press Coverage: TechCrunch, e27, DealStreetAsia, Post Today, Prachachat, Daily News, Blognone, TechSauce

Want to learn more? Read retrospective and highlights from our Managing Partner Khailee Ng.

 

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