Monday, March 30, 2020

Thailand’s Mobility Service Startup Flare Raises US$1.4M in Series A Funding

Flare is number one in automotive advertising in Thailand, claims CEO Kazuki Kamiya

 

By Monika Ghosh

 

Thailand-based automobile-related service provider Flare announced on March 23 that it has raised US$1.4 million in Series A funding from Spiral Ventures, Chiba Dojo, Sun Asterisk, and Voyage Ventures. The investment was received through third party allotment of shares to investors.

 

Established in 2017, Flare secured seed funding from Sun Asterisk in 2018 and pre-A Series funding from Tokyo-based Voyage Ventures in 2019.

 

Flare launched its car-wrapping advertising service called ‘Flare Ad’ in 2017 and subsequently expanded to provide Flare Analytics, a device-free cloud based platform that analyzes driving data, and a cloud-based driver management platform called Flare Dash.

 

According to Founder and CEO Kazuki Kamiya, Flare has been ranked number one in the area of automotive advertising in Thailand. The ad-wrapping service has also been launched in Cambodia this year in partnership with Renet Japan Group.

 

Flare incentivizes car owners to wrap advertising on their cars by paying drivers based on how much and where they drive. The Flare dashboard allows brands to track the number of impressions created by their ads by monitoring locations and traffic jams in real-time.

 

“We designed this product after noticing how long Bangkok drivers are stuck in traffic jams. Brand advertisers want to measure the number of eyeballs on their ads,” Kamiya said in an April 2019 interview.

 

The Out-of-Home (OOH) market in Thailand was expected to be $426 million in 2019. According to Kamiya, “wrapped vehicles will grow market share in OOH media from less than 1% to 5-10% by 2024.”

 

Flare Analytics has become the core business focus. Driving data obtained through smartphones can be used for fleet management, telematics insurance, and can also be provided as a software development kit (SDK).

 

“By linking with Flare Analytics, Flare Dash can manage safe driving, eliminate fraud and streamline operations,” Kamiya said in the statement, adding that a feature of the system is the ability to centrally manage driver-related operations.

 

Flare aims to utilize the latest investment for business expansion and recruitment of engineering and sales staff to strengthen its structure. In the future, Flare will seek to broaden its scope further to include peer-to-peer insurance for automobiles and telematics insurance, according to the press report.

 

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