Thailand’s fifth-largest financial group Bank of Ayudhya, otherwise known as Krungsri, has launched a venture capital fund to invest in financial tech startups in the next three years using an investment capital of US$30 million.
The venture capital fund will be managed by its newly-formed subsidiary Krungsri Finovate which aims to enhance competitive edge in the digital era and support fintech startups in Thailand and ASEAN.
“Krungsri Finovate is a key element to driving Krungsri’s innovation and financial technology in the digital age. Among our initial goals is to take part in the fintech ecosystem in Thailand and overseas,” Krungsri’s head of Digital Banking and Innovation Division, Thakorn Piyapan said.
Thus, the fund will target startups with the potential to become FinTech unicorns, that is referring to startups which has over US$1 billion valuation. Furthermore, the bank will also seek to adopt their innovation with the bank’s products and services in the future.
Krungsri has appointed Sam Tanskul as the managing director of Krungsri Finovate with the mission to advance fintech activities, whereby he will explore opportunities for partnership with startups as well as investment opportunities in innovative financial technology companies.
“In 2017, we expect that Krungsri Finovate will reach collaboration agreements with startups to develop more than 20 financial solutions, which match Krungsri’s requirements,” said Thakorn.
Meanwhile, negotiations are already ongoing for Krungsri Finovate with several startups. The bank is also considering the best options for its US$30 million capital budget, be it a direct investment in Thai potential startups and or an investment in fintech startup funds.
While investment decisions will comply with Krungsri Group’s own agenda, the parent bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, will also provide advice to the investment fund.
Bank of Ayudhya is the latest to emulate a fintech-focused venture capital fund, following Siam Commercial Bank which first initiated a fintech-focused venture capital fund managed by Digital Ventures in 2016.
By Vivian Foo, VCNewsNetwork