In Thailand, fintech innovation has been largely driven by the country’s large banking institutions. Incumbents have inked partnerships with startups and taken participations into companies in the sector to acquire the latest fintech developments and launch new innovative products.
Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), for example, has made several investments in the fintech sector, injecting US$100 million into Indonesia digital finance platform Akulaku in February 2022. Kasikorn Bank, meanwhile, has provided institutional support for fintech startups through its Katalyst Startup Launchpad competition, allowing winners to receive training, prize money, and a chance to work with the bank and its subsidiaries.
Although Thailand’s established commercial banks have been the driving force behind the country’s fintech innovation, recent regulatory efforts by the Bank of Thailand are set to pave the way for strong growth in the financial startup scene.
Most recently, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued regulations requiring virtual asset service providers to establish a digital wallet management system to guarantee efficient custody. The new rules target crypto custodians or services providers that offer crypto storage services and aim to provide regulatory clarity and protect consumers.
The central bank, meanwhile, is in the process of preparing to issue virtual banking licenses, revealing plans to grant up to three licenses in the first phase, the BOT said earlier this year. The central bank, which aims for Thailand first digital banks to start operating in 2025, hopes for the new regulations to boost competition in the banking sector, foster innovation and widen loan access.
With fintech poised for growth in Thailand, we’ve decided to look at some of the country’s up-and-coming fintech startups. For this list, we’ve focused on early-stage ventures that have recently secured funding and which are poised for growth this year onwards.
Founded in 2019, Beam provides a one-click checkout solution and strives to make online transactions easier on e-commerce and social platforms. The solution support common payment channels such as bank transfers and e-wallets, as well as emerging payment methods including installment payments and buy now pay later (BNPL) arrangements from ecosystem partners such Atome and Pace.
Beam claims its checkout process takes only 20 seconds to complete and says sellers using its payment solution have increased checkout success by up to 30%. The company’s typical client are medium-sized businesses that process a few hundred orders daily, and sell in the fashion, beauty, home and living and electronics sectors.
Beam is currently focused on Thailand but plans to expand across the Southeast Asian region. The startup secured a US$2.5 million seed funding round in November 2022, which it said it would use to launch in new locations, hire employees and acquire more merchants.
FWX, formerly known as Forward, is a digital asset and blockchain startup, founded by a group of developers and tech researchers.
FWX has developed decentralized derivatives platform is built on Ethereum virtual machine (EVM)-based chains, that allows users to anticipate price direction or hedge their risk against price fluctuation using an advanced protocol named the Automated Position Hedger.
The platform currently provides two main features: a decentralized derivative exchange for perpetual futures trading written on major crypto tokens, including bitcoin and ether; and lending and borrowing pool (LBPs).
FWX raised US$5 million in a seed funding round in September 2022. The round brought the company’s valuation to US$50 million, reported TechNode. The startup is currently working on a securing a Series A funding round.
Founded in 2022, Eazy Digital is an insurtech software-as-a-service (SaaS) company founded by insurance industry veterans.
Striving to help insurance firms digitize their operations and automate their processes, the company has developed an provides an “agency management platform” that allows for quotations, campaign tracking, dashboarding, profile management, onboarding, training, and more.
The solution is targeted at small and medium-sized insurance companies that lack the resources to digitize their processes and distribution, allowing them to move forward quickly and at low costs while scaling and competing with larger companies.
Eazy Digital raised US$850,000 in an oversubscribed seed funding round in January 2023. The company said it plans to use the proceeds to fund product development, marketing efforts to expand on their existing client base, and build out their team.
Founded in 2018, Atato is a cryptocurrency wallet and custody provider. The company develops applications that let individuals and businesses securely store, transact and manage digital assets, as well as access decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralized applications (DApps).
Atato has built a fully regulated custodial solution that enables institutions to securely and conveniently manage their digital assets. The solution combines enterprise-grade security with multi-party computation (MPC) technology, and supports customizable roles and transaction policies. It aims to reduce the risks associated with managing private seed phrase/key management, and address the risks of human failure or misconduct.
Atato secured a US$6 million Series A in July 2022 which it said it would use to expand its product offerings and fast-track completion of existing beta-development products. This includes retail development, user growth, geographic expansion, and talent acquisition.
Atato says it is headquartered in Singapore but maintains a strong presence in its homebase of Bangkok, Thailand, where the team animates a dynamic blockchain community.