Paul Ark (Polapat Arkkrapridi) has quit as managing director at Digital Ventures, the venture arm of Thailand’s largest lender Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) after a four-year stint, he announced in a LinkedIn post.
His exit comes at a time when the Thai lender is in the midst of a restructuring process surrounding its fintech and innovation-driven units.
As part of the restructuring process, Siam Commercial Bank has launched a new unit SCB 10X Co Ltd that will house Digital Ventures and the lender’s data analytics unit SCB Abacus.
“After nearly four years at the helm of one of the largest and certainly the most international of Thailand’s homegrown VC funds, it is time for me to take a much-needed work sabbatical,” Ark observed in his post.
Ark built the team at Digital Ventures and led its investments in vehicles of Golden Gate Ventures, Dymon Asia, Nyca Fund, Arbor Ventures and also made direct investments in blockchain startup Ripple, geo-profiling solutions provider Pulse and Israeli fintech firm Paygaya, among others.
Ark said SCB gave him “an unparalleled degree of freedom” to shape the bank’s tech investment platform and strategy, as well as to build the team. The VC veteran is also an active practitioner in advocating female representation in the local ecosystem.
Ark has more than 25 years of working experience in finance and technology sectors across Asia and the US.
Founded in 2014 with an initial size of $50 million, Digital Ventures saw for itself a strategic mandate to invest in general partners, but the firm has also kept a close look at big direct investment opportunities.
Ripple, for example, has recently joined the decacorn club following its $200-million Series C funding round.
In 2018, Digital Ventures doubled down on tech investments by adding another $50 million from the parent bank.
The newly-proposed unit SCB 10X is structured as a holding company and has four executives on its board: SCB CEO Athit Nanthawithaya and board members Kan Trakulhoon and Pailin Chuchottaworn, as well as its president Arak Suthiwong, according to information from the Ministry of Commerce’s Department of Business Development.
The new business will invest in and develop digital technology, SCB said in a regulatory filing. It has a registered capital of 5 million baht ($165,000).
In a January 2 notice, SCB said Orapong Thienngern has stepped down from his position of president to lead Digital Ventures as CEO.
The bank earlier told Bloomberg that it planned some tech spinoffs in its pursuit of a unicorn from out of its tech portfolio.