Digital Ventures MD Paul Ark quits amid rejig at SCB’s fintech business arms

Digital Ventures managing director Paul Ark

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.

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.