Thai lender KBANK to launch fintech-focussed fund of funds

Kasikorn Bank (KBANK), one of the country’s major commercial banks, is setting up a venture capital fund to invest in financial-technology products and services as well as support the creation of new innovation, the bank’s president Teeranun Srihong told the media last week.

Set to be launched in the fourth quarter this year, the newly-established fund will both work as the fund of funds and inject the capital into high potential startups directly.

Teeranun said that it is so far in the process of seeking the approvals from the Board of Directors and the Bank of Thailand. However, he declined not to disclose the fund’s initial size.

This move follows the bank’s launch of Kasikorn Business Technology Group (KBTG) in April. KBTG is set up to act as a developer and work together with fintech firms and tech-startups to explore financial innovations.

It also set aside the annual budget of 5 billion baht ($143 million) for KBTG to develop the information technologies and offer more comprehensive financial services to customers.

KBANK expects the value of digital banking transactions would grow 10 times from 4 trillion baht in 205 to 30 trillion baht by 2020.

Before the trend of fintech or tech-startups was sparked up in Thailand, the bank had launched K-SME Venture Capital Fund with the starting amount of 200 million baht ($5.7 million) to co-invest in Thai small and medium-sized entrepreneurs. In November 2014, it invested $1.5 million in Tee Entertainment Company and Zinco Living Company.

Meanwhile, Siam Commercial Bank has made the first move among Thai banks by launching its VC arm Digital Ventures together with the $50-million first vehicle early this year.

Digital Venture’s investment included Golden Gate Ventures’ second early stage venture fund in June and a series B round of Ripple, a San Francisco-based provider of financial settlement solutions.

Fintech has become one of the major issues that both the public and private sectors in Thailand have paid attention to.

The Thai Fintech Club is drafting a fintech roadmap and working on holding the National FinTech Sandbox Forum every four to six weeks. The first forum, chaired by former finance minister Korn Chatikavanij, is scheduled to kick off on October 5.

According to Bangkok Post, the first forum is associated with developing revenue for retail investment fintech firms and around 100 people from regulators, brokerage houses and fintech firms are invited to join an exploration of how to generate revenue streams from launching investment solutions for mutual fund and securities sales.

Also read:

Kasikorn Bank invests in Tee Entertainment, Zinco

Thailand: Siam Commercial Bank sets up $50m fund to invest in fintech startups

Golden Gate Ventures closes $60m early stage fund, to double down on SEA

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.