Michael Waitze had a fascinating conversation with the Founder and CEO of Eko, Korawad Chearavanont. Eko is a communication and operational platform for businesses that bring the right people, information, and tools together to get work done. Eko app allows corporate workers to connect with their teams, increase their staff engagement and efficiency. Eko is a fast-growing SaaS business with offices in Bangkok, London, Austin, and Lisbon serving more than 500,000 paying subscribers.
Korawad comes from a family of entrepreneurs. When he was 13 years old, he went to New Jersey to attend the Lawrenceville School, a boarding school approximately 100 kilometers from New Yor City. It was at Lawrenceville that he started building Eko and was encouraged by some classmates to join a nearby accelerator program. At first, Eko was meant to be a messaging application for student clubs, but this did not get as much traction as they had expected. Undeterred and encouraged by friends and interested parties to keep going, the Eko team pivoted to building a mobile first application for companies…to rebuild as an all-in-one app for enterprises.
Korawad took a ‘gap year’ between Lawrenceville and attending Columbia University in New York and came back to Thailand with his co-Founder to continue building Eko. Reluctantly, he went to Columbia, with an agreement from his parents that if he could raise $5MM to fund his business, he could leave school and keep building. Korawad is resourceful and determined…and met his goal of raising a $5MM round led by Gobi Partners and joined by a few other VC firms.