Krungsri’s fintech arm pumps THB3bn into Thai, foreign start-ups
Krungsri (Bank of Ayudhya)’s fintech arm announced on Friday it will invest 3 billion baht in Thai and foreign start-ups over the next three years as part of the digital banking revolution.
Krungsri Finnovate will invest the money via its new “Finnoverse” private equity fund, which will focus on blockchain and decentralised technology start-ups.
Sam Tanskul, managing director of Krungsri Finnovate, said the new fund’s launch was driven by the belief that banks and banking services are changing fast.
Blockchain is at the core of the trend for digital banking and assets, as the new technology that underlies secure online transactions.
Both blockchain and digital assets are fast becoming a part of people's everyday life, Sam said.
The Finnoverse Fund has been launched as a three-year investment plan (2022-2024) worth 3 billion baht.
It will focus on key areas of blockchain technology including domestic and international funds that invest in blockchain, new decentralised finance tech, the Metaverse, Web 3.0, nonfungible tokens and play-to-earn gaming, and blockchain for businesses.
"We will focus on blockchain and decentralised technology – not cryptocurrency, where there is too much speculation," Sam said.
The fund is already investing in Zipmex, a leading crypto exchange platform in Thailand, and ADDX, a market-investment platform from Singapore.
Sam added that Krungsri Finnovate is in talks to invest in three more start-ups, whose names will be announced later this year.
Meanwhile, the firm’s Finnoventure Private Equity Trust I now has 16 prominent start-ups under its wing, mostly in fintech and e-commerce. Two of them – Grab and Flash Express – have become unicorns.
Investors in this fund include Thai corporations and financial institutions such as PTT Oil and Retail Business (PTT OR), Siam Rajathanee, NTT Data, and the Thai Stock Exchange. Private Equity Trust I is now valued at 5 billion baht, enough to fund Thai start-ups for the next few years. So far, 326.3 million baht has been invested in the start-ups.