SEA Digest: LINE ties up with KASIKORNBANK; VIISA launches 8th cohort

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Kasikornbank is pictured next to a national flag at a Kasikornbank in Bangkok, Thailand, May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo

Japan-based chat app LINE has partnered with KASIKORNBANK in Thailand to launch LINE BK, the first social banking app in the country. Meanwhile, Vietnam Innovative Startups Accelerator (VIISA) has welcomed two new startups to its acceleration programme.

LINE ties up with KASIKORNBANK to offer social banking

LINE Corporation and Thailand’s KASIKORNBANK, through their KASIKORN LINE joint venture, has launched LINE BK, the first social banking app in Thailand.

This partnership marks LINE’s first foray into the financial services sector.

LINE BK allows customers to transfer money, open savings accounts, apply for loans and make payments from the LINE app, according to a statement.

Users can open as many as five savings accounts, and apply for a debit card through LINE BK, which offers high interest rates for saving accounts and unlocks a range of banking services including personal loans for freelancers and individuals without fixed incomes.

The platform has widened the reach of financial services to people with a monthly income from 7,000 baht ($224) and those without fixed salaries and pay slips such as small business owners.

LINE said it had plans to expand banking services into other countries, including Japan, Taiwan, and Indonesia.

Entering Thailand in 2012, the Japanese chat app has garnered 46 million users in the Southeast Asian country.

Vietnamese accelerator VIISA launches 8th startup batch 

Vietnam Innovative Startups Accelerator (VIISA) on Tuesday announced its eighth cohort with two startups from healthtech and fashion-tech sectors to join the three-month incubation programme.

The two startups, Doctor Bear and Drobebox, were selected out of 62 applications, VIISA said.

Doctor Bear is a health platform for patients with chronic diseases. Its mobile app enables users to consult with specialised doctors via video call and offers various test packages according to the treatment plan. The DoctorBear team consists of a group of medical doctors with over 15 years of professional experience and an in-house technology chief.

Meanwhile, Drobebox offers a clothing subscription service for women. DrobeBox’s packaged service allows users to try fashion items without purchasing or even washing. Users can also own any items they wish after fitting.

Startups that graduate from VIISA will have a chance to receive a follow-on funding up to $200,000 out of VIISA Investment Track, if they procure a fresh round of funding from an outside investor.

Due to the uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, VIISA’s eighth batch activities will mostly be taken online.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.