Thailand-based Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) has increased its corporate venture capital fund by US$50 million, through its fintech investment arm Digital Ventures.

This has brought the fund’s total capital base to US$100 million.

The bank has also signalled a shift in focus from fund-of-fund investments towards more direct investments in line with its digital transformation strategy.

“During the past two years, SCB has achieved significant investment milestones and established strategic partnerships with leading venture capital funds and startups,” said Dr. Arak Sutivong, CFO and Chief Strategy Officer at SCB. “With this success, we have expanded our access to critical technologies. We have engaged with over 800 startups and more than 60 venture capital funds in nearly 30 countries.”

He added that the this provides Digital Ventures an opportunity to learn about, connect with, and invest in technologies ranging from blockchain to quantum computing and geolocation. “Such technologies add tremendous value both to our business operations and to customers, and they play an essential role in SCB’s digital transformation.”

Also Read: Ripple effect: Siam Commercial Bank becomes Thailand’s first bank to invest in blockchain technology

According to Polapat Arkkrapridi, MD of Digital Ventures, the increased capital base will allow it to continue sourcing and investing in technologies vital to SCB’s transformation strategy and innovation initiatives. Such innovations will address new business challenges and open up new opportunities for the fund to introduce groundbreaking products and services to the bank’s retail and corporate customers.

Founded in 2016, Digital Ventures promotes innovation in fintech. Its strategy has focused on building networks and relationships with key startups, leading VC funds, and fintech thought leaders around the world. Following the bank’s strategy to leverage digital technology, Digital Ventures strives to drive change in the banking industry through investment, innovation and supporting Thai businesses to grow in partnership with SCB.

Since inception, Digital Ventures has made strategic investments both in hi-tech startups and venture capital funds around the world, including Golden Gate Ventures (Southeast Asia), Nyca Partners (US), Dymon Asia Ventures (Singapore), Arbor Ventures (Hong Kong), Ripple (enterprise blockchain startup based in Silicon Valley), PulseiD (a geo-profiling service startup based in Hong Kong), PayKey (a contextual payments startup from Tel Aviv, IndoorAtlas (a developer of geomagnetics-based indoor positioning technology from Helsinki, Finland), and 1QBit (quantum computing software platform from Vancouver, Canada).

“While we are focusing on strategic investment to boost innovations, we also expect good financial return but understand that it will take some time. We are looking at the platform that will transform a traditional bank into a digital bank – something that can make a real impact. We are, therefore, interested in key technologies: Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning, Big Data, blockchain, AR/VR, cloud and security, quantum computing, etc.,” added Polapat.