Thailand’s fifth largest financial group Krungsri has launched a $30-million venture capital fund to invest in financial tech startups in 2017-19.
The venture capital fund, managed under its newly-formed subsidiary Krungsri Finnovate, targets to invest in fintech startups that have potential to become fintech unicorns with over $1-billion valuation and to adopt those innovation with the bank’s products and services in the future.
“In 2017, we expect that Krungsri Finnovate will reach collaboration agreements with startups to develop more than 20 financial solutions, which match Krungsri’s requirements,” Thakorn Piyapan, Krungsri Head of Krungsri Consumer Group and Head of Digital Banking and Innovation Division, said.
Meanwhile, it is considering the best options for both direct investment in Thai potential startups and investment in fintech startup funds in Thailand and overseas with a $30-million capital budget. “Negotiations are ongoing with certain startups for the time being,” he added.
Krungsri has appointed Sam Tanskul as managing director of Krungsri Finnovate which focuses on three core activities: Accelerator & Academic Collaboration, Startup Project Management and Venture Capital.
Siam Commercial Bank is the first Thai commercial bank kicking off a fintech-focussed venture capital fund managed by its subsidiary Digital Ventures in 2016, followed by the launch of fintech-focussed fund of funds by KBank later in the same year.
Digital Ventures, which seems to be the most active, has so far invested in three VC funds including Golden Gate Ventures, Nyca II and Dymon Asia as well as a few startup firms such as the US-based blockchain firm Ripple.