InnoSpace Thailand, a public-private sector venture, is planning to deploy $185 million baht ($5 million) in homegown startups amid a slowdown in venture capital funding, it revealed at the InnoSpace Summit 2023: Accelerate Early-Stage Ecosystem on Friday.
The venture, which was formed under the cooperation of the Thai Ministry Industry, will spend an average of around 3 million baht ($91,911) per deal, higher than its usual investment capital.
“2022 was a challenging year for startups with funding drying up quite considerably as most corporate venture capital investors had slowed down its investment that year…,” said Tevin Vongvanich, Chairman of InnoSpace Thailand. “We think this is timely for the venture to scout for high-quality startups that align with our investment thesis. That’s why we decided to raise the investment budget this year.”
The firm will allocate around 100 million baht ($3 million), or 60% of the total investment budget, to a fund dedicated to potential unicorns this year. Around 15 million baht ($1 million) will be separately disbursed to a pair of newly-established funds for pre-Series A to Series A startups and growth-stage deep-tech startups, respectively. The remaining 15 million baht ($459,558) will be injected into an existing fund for early-stage deep-tech startups.
Speaking at a panel titled “Thailand early-stage investment and ecosystem” at the summit, Tortrakul Wattanavorakijkul, acting CEO of InnoSpace, said the firm is targeting early-stage startups with a minimum viable product and connection with Thailand’s Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economic model.
Last year, InnoSpace invested in four startups, including deep-tech companies ZTRUS, Easy Rice, TASTED BETTER, and customer relation service provider ChocoCRM. The vehicle has deployed less than 100 million baht ($3 million) to date.
At Friday’s event, InnoSpace also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Federation of Thai Industries to support the development of tech startups.
Founded in 2019, InnoSpace aims to connect local startups with fresh capital and accelerate their growth to global levels. The joint venture, in which Bangkok-based oil company PTT Oil and Retail Business holds a 15% ownership, is backed by over 15 limited partners, such as large public companies Siam Cement Group, Charoen Pokphand Group, Thai Beverage, and Bangkok Bank, among many others.