A new era of Krungsri Finnovate is coming
A ubiquitous name and a familiar face among startup enthusiasts, Sam Tanskul, the Managing Director of Krungsri Finnovate Co.Ltd, recently announced the official launch of Krungsri Rise Batch 3 and revealed its exciting goals set for this year.
Sam Tanskul said that for the past year the company ran Krungsri RISE project by collaborating intensively with Krungsri Bank and many business partners. The project is executed within Krungsri Finnovate’s three core areas: Accelerator & Academic Collaboration, Startup Project Management and Venture capital in promising Fintech startups.
“We’re so enthralled by the result and looking for more and more great startups to incubate. These startups will have opportunity to work with Krungsri Bank. Our bank operates at a high standard. So if they can work with us, I believe, they can work anywhere else,” said Sam.
The company, he added, also makes collaborative effort with educational sectors. One of its latest initiatives is Krungsri Uni Startup Heckathon, a model conducted directly with educational institutions. “We used to hold 60-hour-long Heckathon for computer science students. The aim is to give them startup business training and to educate them how to write computer codes in a speedy fashion.”
Getting up close and personal with these startups makes him realize one major challenge IT industry in Thailand’s now facing: the severe scarcity of Tech Talent.
“So we go tell the institution we’re in dire need of Tech Talent and want to organize some activities. That we can provide teaching assistance and are willing to promote the increased quantity of Tech Talent. So we can have more of them to work with us.”
Working with startups is the second area Krungsri Finnovate centers around, Sam added. “We want to work with FinTech startups as much as possible because the bank can’t move forward by itself and invent something new all the time. Our staff have their own full-time jobs so they really don’t have time to conceive the ideas. Even if they do and present their ideas to IT department, it’s going to be too late. Because turning those ideas into execution will take another two years,” he said.
“We prefer to work with startups because we’ll have API to directly connect with. As a result, we can launch new products more quickly.”
Sam further revealed, “Krungsri Finnovate this year aims to work with 40 startups. For the time being, it collaborates with approximate 10 startups. So there remain more or less 20 startups to acquire and work with. We hope Krungsri RISE will be a bridge linking us up to more startups.”
1 Billion Baht Investment Prepared
Supporting and promoting startups isn’t just enough. Investment is the key. “For Krungsri Finnovate, we set to invest 1 billion baht into at least four companies in Thailand,” said Sam.
“We will invest in series A and later-stage level startups that have their products available nationwide. Three-fourths of the capital budget will be directly invested in startups, while one-fourths through foreign investment fund which helps us be on our radar to find and discover potential startups.”
At present, the company has already put in about 10 million US dollars. This year, it plans to invest in and primarily focus on at least four startups in Thailand, he revealed. “However if that technology isn’t yet present in Thailand, we’ll instead opt for foreign investment. Then we’ll introduce it to Thai market.”
This year, Krungsri RISE, the highlight of accelerator program, will implement new method called Krungsri Rise Pitch&Plug. Startups can submit applications on a monthly basis and pitch their ideas with Krungsri business units. The plus point is that the program will have fully prepared startups, not the unready ones only jumping at the application opening. Startups with stellar performance will join a boot camp organized at the end of 2018, he said.