Bangkok Bank InnoHub Program: Fintech Thailand 4.0by Fintechnews Singapore September 6, 2017
Bangkok Bank InnoHub, a 12-week acceleration program by Bangkok Bank and Bualuang Ventures powered by Hong Kong-based venture capital firm and accelerator Nest, aims to facilitate collaborations between startups and commercial banks in Southeast Asia.
The program, launched earlier this year, is targeted at promising fintech startups, and in particular, those working in compliance and KYC, payments, and artificial intelligence.
Selected teams receive dedicated mentorship from financial experts of Bangkok Bank and Bualuang Ventures, as well as strategic guidance from Nest. The startups are guided through a process designed to give them the opportunity to secure a proof-of-concept with the bank and pitch for investment by the end of the program.
Eight startups are currently in the program:
- Bambu, based in Singapore, is B2B robo-advisory firm;
- Canopy, a product of Mesitis, is account aggregation and visualization platform;
- Bento, from Singapore, is a bionic robo-advisor;
- Covr, from Sweden, is mobile security platform;
- Everex, from Thailand, is microfinance platform;
- First Circle, from the Philippines, is digital SME lender;
- FundRadars, from Thailand, is analytics and e-investing platform;
- Invoice Interchange, from Singapore, is an invoice trading marketplace.
In September, they will present their business plans to Thai and international investors for funding or potential partnerships.
“In today’s business, it is not the big fish that eats the small fish, but rather the fast fish that eats the slow fish,” said Panukorn Chantaraprapab, the vice president of business investment of Bangkok Bank. “Bangkok Bank InnoHub therefore needs to discover the ‘Bluefins’, the super-fish that are courageous, persistent and agile. We have succeeded in identifying eight startups with great potential for fast growth.”
“The heart of InnoHub lies in providing opportunities for the startups to continue innovating and achieve sustainable growth, helping them meet and overcome their business challenges.”
According to Bangkok Bank’s president Chartsiri Sophonpanich, the acceleration program comes in line with Thailand 4.0.
Thailand 4.0 is a nationwide strategy focusing on high-tech industries and innovation. It aims to reach four objectives: economic prosperity, social well-being, raising human value, and environmental protection.
“We are confident Bangkok Bank InnoHub will support the government’s Thailand 4.0 national strategy by helping to add value and strengthen the services sector,” said Chartsiri. “We are committed to enhancing Thailand’s ecosystem, paving the way for local fintech startups to expand regionally and internationally, and for world-class fintech startups to build networks and partnerships with the fintech community in Thailand and throughout ASEAN.”
Thailand has seen its startup ecosystem grow rapidly in recent years. Fintech in particular has emerged as a key area of interest for corporates, banks, foreign companies and the public sector. A regulatory sandbox was established earlier this year by the Bank of Thailand to allow firms and startups to experiment with fintech products and new business models.
Scale360, a UK-based fintech startup that develops software to power banks’ digital transformation, recently set up a Bangkok Development Center to serve banks’ growing need for fintech solutions.
But Thailand also has its own successful fintech startups. Omise, for instance, operates a payment gateway for Southeast Asia. The company has raised over US$45 million in total funding and is backed by the likes of SBI Asset Management, Golden Gate Ventures and 500 Startups.