Thailand’s major bank Kasikorn Bank announced the launch of its inaugural tech fund Beacon, TechCrunch reported.
Armed with THB1 billion (US$29.3 million) fund, the new venture capital (VC) arm will be focussed on all aspects of fintech, targetting startups in Thailand and overseas.
“The primary markets for our focus are in Southeast Asia, but we are also opportunistic in Europe and China,” said Beacon Senior Investment Manager Photchara Sripincha.
Beacon will be led by Thanapong Na Ranong, the former vice president of InVent.
Funded solely by the bank, it will invest directly into startups and contribute to other VC firms as an LP. It has already invested into Singapore-based fintech fund Dymon Asia (which is looking to secure US$50 million final close), and is looking forward to invest in two more funds.
It is aiming to secure three to five deals annually, from seed to Series A with a typical check size of US$500,000 to US$3 million. While it does not disclose the portion of the fund reserved for follow on deals, the capital is expected to last between four to six years.
The first startup that Beacon has already invested in is FlowAccount, a Bangkok-based cloud accounting solutions which had also raised funding from 500 Startups.
Apart from conventional banking, Kasikorn Bank also operates its own banking tech arm Kasikorn Bank Technology Group (KBTG). One of the startups that had spun out of the group is Beacon Interface, which offers bank services to visually impaired customers.
In Thailand, more and more banks are looking towards fintech investment. Apart from Kasikorn, Bangkok Bank and Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) have also branched into fintech investment with the set up of their own VC arm.
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