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Business Deals

Japan's Line invests in Thai startup for the first time

Freelancing platform Fastwork offers synergy in growing social commerce

Line hopes to leverage Thailand's social commerce boom with transactions through its chat app. (Photo by Wataru Ito)

BANGKOK -- The venture capital arm of Japanese chat app provider Line announced its first foray into Thailand on Thursday with an investment in crowdsourcing platform Fastwork Technologies.

Line Ventures participated in a $4.8 million funding round for the Bangkok-based startup, according to an announcement on Thursday. Founded in 2015, Fastwork connects clients with freelancers for tasks such as translation and website design. The company, whose management team includes alumni of Line and Google, operates in Indonesia in addition to Thailand.

Social commerce, or e-commerce that incorporates social channels, is booming in Thailand. Line hopes to capitalize on the trend with transactions through its app. Line's Thai arm plans to partner with Fastwork and link the two companies' systems.

"Social commerce has created massive demand for outsourcing, which will encourage the growth of services like Fastwork," Line Ventures said.

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