Line Ventures and Line Thailand have pledged a total of US$20 million (632 million baht) to help startups grow their business in a hope to discover first Thai unicorn within the next three to five years under the ScaleUp program.
As a part of its “Super App” strategies, Line hopes to gather innovative startups into the program, as reported by The Bangkok Post.
“We selected Thailand as the first country to launch ScaleUp to help local startups have access to more extensive funding,” said Jayden Kang, executive director of global business development, overseeing Thailand, for Line Ventures.
Kay Lim, the lead of global investment for Line Ventures Global, a venture capital arm under Line Corporation, shared the statistics that show how Thailand’s startup funding is mainly in the seed stage, comprising only 48 per cent with Series A at 26 per cent and Series B 9 per cent. Lim believed that Thai startups lack a regional mindset and founder teams need international introductions.
Lim further noted that potential unicorns in Thailand are in travel tech, fintech and education tech.
ScaleUp will focus on helping startups connect with international venture capital funds, in particular, Line Ventures, that will take a 20 per cent share from the startups that already have products or services with a clear understanding of customers’ needs, and a globally expandable business through Line’s network and leveraging its 44 million customers in Thailand.
The selected candidates will have one year of free access to Line’s messaging application programming interface, mentoring, and coaching in areas of interest consist of education, digital content/media, and e-commerce that compliments Line’s business.
ScaleUp debuted last year with five selected startups. This phase will be opened on May 17, with a demo day this November.
To date, with its three funds, Line Ventures has invested in 43 firms, 12 of which are in Southeast Asia. Under Eunjung Lee, Line’s senior vice-president of global business who’s also the acting managing director of Line Thailand, it has invested US$5 million Series A in FastWork and acquired e-commerce platform SellSuki.