On average, consumers in Asia Pacific dine out four to five times a week — not surprising, perhaps, given the region’s growing affluence and increasingly hectic urban lifestyle. The same 2018 industry report, however, also reveals that consumers often turn to their friends, family, and colleagues as their top three sources of restaurant information, while restaurant guide websites and apps come in in fourth place.
This research nugget offers insights into the success of Thai Internet startup Wongnai.com, which combines all four information sources into one handy mobile app. Wongnai, which means ‘insider’ in Thai, was founded in 2010 as a lifestyle platform featuring user-generated reviews of restaurants, spas, salons, hotels and attractions. With its credo of “Connecting People to Good Stuff”, the mobile app offers quick searches of over 230,000 businesses, detailed user reviews for each, and a ‘follow a friend’ function that allows users to track their friends’ consumer journey.
The app has taken off with Thailand’s rising mobile penetration rate, which has quadrupled in the past decade, and now enjoys the attention of 2.5 million active users and 10 million avid social media followers.
Because the Internet never sleeps
For Technical Director Tanapol Nearunchorn and his team of 75 engineers, serving Wongnai’s users is a round-the-clock job.
“High system availability is non-negotiable for us because users access our app at all hours of the day and night. We’ve suffered a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDOS) attack before. It negatively impacted user experience and cost us significant time and resources to recover. That’s not something we want to see happen again. After moving to Cloudflare, I’m happy to say that there have been similar attempts but they have all been successfully blocked,” said Tanapol.
It helps that Cloudflare’s advanced DDOS attack protection solution is supported by a network capacity that is 15 times bigger than the largest DDOS attack ever recorded, ensuring that it can handle any modern distributed attack including those targeting DNS infrastructure. With its network spread across data centers in over 200 cities around the world, Cloudflare also considerably improves Wongnai’s performance.
“On the performance side, we are now caching more content and serving it to users about 20% faster than before. Cloudflare’s local Points of Presence (PoP), spread all around the world, are definitely making a difference,” added Tanapol.
“Cloudflare wins on its smart and scalable solutions, as well as its impressive customer support. Unlike local partners whose support desks operate on office hours, Cloudflare gives us round-the-clock support via its teams in Singapore, London, and San Francisco. I’m confident that Cloudflare will continue to be a valuable business partner to Wongnai as we continue to grow.”
• In the past, Wongnai had reliability issues from DDoS attacks. Now, Cloudflare's firewall protects Wongnai against even the largest distributed online threats.
• By moving to Cloudflare, Wongnai immediately improved site performance by 20% — resulting in a better experience for millions of users.
“Cloudflare wins on its smart and scalable solutions, as well as its impressive customer support. Unlike local partners whose support desks operate on office hours, Cloudflare gives us round-the-clock support.”
Technical Director, Wongnai.com