Thailand: Kasikornbank unit KVision sets aside $245m to fund startups

KASIKORN Vision (KVision), an investment holding company of KASIKORNBANK (KBank), has set aside a budget of $245 million to invest in tech startups in ASEAN, China, Japan and Korea that can help the bank expand regionally.

KVision chairman Pattarapong Kanhasuwan told DEALSTREETASIA that about $190 million of the total budget will be directly invested by KVision and the remaining $55 million will be routed through Beacon, the corporate venture capital arm of KBank.

KVision will prioritise investments in fintech and e-commerce startups, he said.

Earlier this week, KVision announced that it had signed a cooperation agreement with the Vietnam government’s Business Startup Support Centre (BSSC) to support Thai startups’ entry into the Vietnamese market.

“To invest in Thai startups that will penetrate the Vietnamese market, we are not expecting investment returns. We would rather consider it in the long-term [perspective] for future business partners as we plan to eventually become a regional bank in Asean,” said Pattarapong.

Hang Nyugen, deputy director of BSSC, told local media that she expects 20 Thai startups to have presence in Vietnam in the coming year.

Founded in August 2018 with a total investment from KBank worth 8 billion baht ($253.41 million), KVision aims to engage in forging joint ventures with technology and financial firms globally to enhance its digital technology capabilities and strengthen its resources.

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