Southeast Asia has undoubtedly been one of the, if not the most, popular tourism destinations for Chinese travelers. However, it has never been a trivial task to navigate through the complicated and somewhat confusing transportation systems in Southeast Asian countries. Especially in Thailand: first you should physically find a provider – the location of its box office, then select a proper route, and buy your paper ticket using cash. Options for online bookings are limited apart from a few exceptions, which appear useless – unless you can read and write in Thai fluently. However, things are now getting better. With 12GO, people can now easily book transit trips in Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Brunei.
Founded in late 2013, 12GO Asia Pte Ltd. is a Singapore based e-ticketing startup. It aims to provide an easy solution to book tickets for trains, buses, ferries and flights (the latter is not available at the moment, but will be soon) throughout popular Southeast Asian countries on one platform – available on both desktop and mobile.
According to Alexey Abolmasov, CEO and Founder of 12GO, by 2014, it has already covered the majority of Thailand and some parts of Malaysia and Singapore with local partners and operators. Out of all e-ticketing websites now emerging, 12GO is one of the first of its kind in Thailand. 12GO previously secured US$300,000 from angel investors to build its product and support the commercial launch of the platform.
12GO doesn’t shy away from its ambition of tackling the Chinese market – the biggest e-ticket market in Asia. They are in continuous discussions for cooperation arrangements with multiple Chinese travel websites and agents, hoping to integrate its service into the increasingly complex and developing travel market in China.
12GO will soon launch support for flight ticket sales for small airline companies like Air Asia and Nok air, to provide diverse and more economical travelling options for those SEA jet setters.
Targeting enterprises and consumers, 12GO is a B2B and B2C company. It partners with local operators from each country, provides them with booking and travel data and also integrates its system into the operator’s website, offering direct and indirect access to its service.
“With our multi-languages support, we hope to build our system based on understanding the different needs, preferences and perspectives on travel in different countries, and to make our service becomes part of their travelling cultures.” Alexey Abolmasov said.
“Currently 12GO has 20 team members in Singapore, with international and part-time employees working with them on a 24/7 basis. [We] have 30,000 unique visitors per month, 20% of [our] monthly bookers are Chinese”, said Alexey Abolmasov. “So far 12GO has secured over 100 operators across Southeast Asia, covering buses, trains, and ferries booking. Having a better operators integration on the platform and making flight booking available is next in line”, said Alexey.