SEA Digest: Thai Wah Group sets up VC unit; Coinhako receives digital token nod

Photo by Luke Thornton on Unsplash.

Thai Wah Group has become the latest food company in Thailand to launch a corporate venture capital arm. Meanwhile, in Singapore, cryptocurrency startup Coinhako has received in-principle approval for digital payment token services.

Thai Wah Group establishes VC arm to invest in foodtech

Thailand’s listed food firm Thai Wah Group has launched a new subsidiary to make venture capital investments in the food supply chain. The company said in a statement that the unit will invest in various areas, such as farm technology, food processing, and bioplastics.

The corporate VC arm will have a registered capital of 100 million baht ($3 million), and Thai Wah Group expects to complete the registration of the new subsidiary within the first quarter of 2022.

The source of investment shall come from the company’s working capital, Thai Wah Group said.

Before Thai Wah Group, seafood major Thai Union had set up a $30 million VC unit in 2019. The company has since backed foodtech firm VisVires New Protein, alternative protein startup Flying Spark, Singapore-based diabetes food firm Alchemy Foodtech, the US insect tech and e-commerce company Manna Foods Co, HydroNeo GmbH, an aquaculture technology company based in Germany and Thailand, and Israeli cultivated meat producer Aleph Farms.

SG-based Coinhako gets nod for digital token services

Singapore-based cryptocurrency platform Coinhako has been issued an in-principle approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to provide digital payment token services, according to an announcement.

This makes Coinhako the first local non-bank crypto exchange to receive this in-principle approval, the company said.

“Coinhako recognised very early on that the industry would move towards regulation,” Collin Cheong, corporate development director of Coinhako, said, adding that the firm will continue to work to meet MAS’s requirements for a licence.

The company’s co-founder and CTO Gerry Eng revealed that Coinhako planned to expand into more regional markets in the future.

Launched in 2014, Coinhako offers both fiat-to-crypto and crypto-to-crypto trading services with a digital wallet for traders to store their digital assets.

The startup claimed it has seen a 1,000% increase in trading volume in the first eight months of 2021, compared with the whole of 2020. Currently, it has over 300,000 registered users in Singapore and an average of 150,000 monthly active users.

Coinhako is backed by VCs and individual investors such as Tim Draper, Josh Jones and Boost VC.

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.