Thailand’s SCB 10X to establish US$50 million blockchain-focused fund

SCB 10X, the digital technology investment arm of Thailand’s oldest bank Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), recently revealed that it has set up a new venture capital fund worth US$50 million to invest in emerging financial technology.

Specifically, the corporate venture capital (CVC) firm will use the new capital to invest in global early and growth-stage blockchain, decentralized finance (Defi), and digital asset startups.

This latest move is said to advance its “Moonshot Mission” that focuses on supporting the growth of next-generation financial services as the bank prepares for the digital financial systems of the future.

“In the financial industry, blockchain-enabled financial services have the potential to broaden financial inclusion, facilitate open access, and encourage innovation,” said Mukaya Panich, SCB 10X Chief Venture, and Investment officer.

“We see strong parallels between traditional finance and blockchain-enabled financial services businesses. Blockchain technology can make financial services more innovative, interoperable, traceable, borderless, and transparent.”

In an interview with DealStreetAsia, Panich has also said that the investment firm was looking to ramp up investments in sectors that are poised to benefit from the new normal, citing the five themes of digital payments, remote work, digital lifestyle, health tech, and AI and robotics.

SBC 10X was launched in January 2020 to invest in technology startups internationally under three branches: venture builder, venture capital, and strategic investment and partnership.

So far, the VC firm already has a record of early investments in several top companies operating across the new frontier of finance, including cryptocurrency lending platforms BlockFi and international payments giant Ripple.

Additionally, the CVC firm’s investment portfolio also consists of controlling stakes in three Thai tech firms, which are Digital Ventures, Abacus, and Monix.

Most recently, SCB 10X was the main investor in Thai fintech firm SYNQA, the startup behind the Omise payment solutions and the blockchain-based OMG Network, formerly known as OmiseGO.

Arthid Nantawittaya, the Chairman of SBC10X and Chief Executive Officer of Siam Bank Commercial Bank PCL also said the bank has a customer base of over 16 million people with 10 million of which are digital banking customers, as well as a strong network of business entrepreneurs who are industry think-tanks to share new innovations and ideas.

Within the fintech market in Thailand, the largest sector, according to recent estimates, is the digital payments sector with a total transaction value of $15.93 million.

While the details of potential companies to be included in this fund remains unknown at the moment, SCB 10X’s Mukyaphanich said that features of blockchain infrastructure would be a prerequisite.

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