Thailand’s MTR turns VC with SME Bank

Thailand based MTR Asset Manager Company Limited, has entered into the venture capital space. It plans to support small-and medium-sized entrepreneurs (SMEs) so that they can grow rapidly.

After signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of Venture Capital for SMES-OTOP project with the SME Bank today, the company’s chairman Chatu Mongol Sonakul said that many small-sized businesses in Thailand have good products but cannot access loans.

“We have lots of cash and we would like to manage our cash by investing in the companies which have good prospect rather than lending them money and generating the profit from the interest,” said Sonakul, who was a former Permanent Secretary of Finance Ministry and former Governor of the Bank of Thailand.

The venture capital has is not yet a popular sector in Thailand yet because most of the Thai SMEs are family business and they don’t want others to get involved in the management. This has been the main reason for the failure of the venture funds launched by the banks, in the past.   “Today, the entrepreneurs understand that they need funds to compete in the mass market, to develop their products and they need a professional team to advise them in other aspects such as marketing or asset management, which are our core business,” he said, explaining the changing situation. .

Sonakul said he was interested in joining the startups in the initial stage of the business and help them to shape it from ground up. This might require for them to stay invested for a five to seven year period. After that, it may either continue the joint venture or sell its share to other investors who have the interest in that business.

He plans to hold around 10%-30% of each company’s share, depending on the company’s prospect and negotiation.

M.T.R. Asset Manager, established in May 2002, has a current portfolio of about 30 billion-40 billion baht ($923 million-$1.23 billion).

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.