Bangkok Bank nurturing prized ‘Bluefin’ start-ups

Breaking News June 27, 2017 13:38

By The Nation

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Bangkok Bank and its partner Nest, a global innovation platform supporting entrepreneurs, have selected eight of the world’s most promising fintech (financial technology) start-ups for the accelerator programme Bangkok Bank InnoHub.



Bangkok Bank and its partner Nest, a global innovation platform supporting entrepreneurs, have selected eight of the world’s most promising fintech (financial technology) start-ups for the accelerator programme Bangkok Bank InnoHub.

The eight “Bluefin” start-ups, chosen from among applicants in 32 countries, on Monday (June 26) began working with Bangkok Bank and Nest and will continue for 12 weeks before presenting business plans to Thai and foreign investors on Demo Day in September for possible investment and partnerships.

Bangkok Bank president Chartsiri Sophonpanich said InnoHub reflects the bank’s commitment to fostering the growth of the fintech start-ups that will be key drivers of Thailand’s financial services sector and the wider economy.

The bank has a team of experts to meet the challenges of the new technologies and reinforce its position as an innovation leader, Chartsiri said, calling the selection of eight world-class start-ups “a significant milestone”.

“InnoHub reinforces Bangkok Bank’s status as a leading regional commercial bank, attracting applicants from Europe, the US, Australia and wider Asia,” he said.

Lawrence Morgan, chief executive at Nest, which has created fintech programmes for several international corporations, said Bangkok Bank InnoHub is “different from other Thai start-up programmes that are open only to local entrepreneurs”. 

It “draws on world-class innovation and expertise, including dedicated mentors from among Thai and international financial experts, to help shape the start-ups’ strategies and guide emerging entrepreneurs towards their business goals”, he said

Demo Day is scheduled for late September, when the eight start-ups will present their plans to prospective investors, particularly those in Southeast Asia. They include Bangkok Bank and its subsidiary Bualuang Ventures, a venture-capital firm focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises. 

Bangkok Bank vice president Dr Panukorn Chantaraprapab described the eight start-ups. Four are from Singapore – Bambu, Bento and Canopy, all focused on wealth-management services – and Invoice Interchange, which offers a P2P invoice trading marketplace.

Covr Security from Sweden provides innovative mobile security services. First Circle of the Philippines focuses on SME lending services.

There are two Thai start-ups. Everex offers blockchain-based financial services, while FundRadars provides an application for mutual-fund investors.

“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. “Bangkok Bank InnoHub needs to discover the ‘Bluefins’, the super-fish that are courageous, persistent and agile. We have succeeded in identifying eight start-ups with great potential for fast growth.”

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