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Jun 25, 2019 / 17:03

Thailand’s Kasikornbank partners with Vietnam incubator to support startup community

Kasikornbank subsidiary KVision had earmarked US$245 million to invest in Thai and foreign startups, particularly those in Vietnam.

Kasikornbank, Thailand's second-largest lender, is partnering with state-run Vietnam's Business Startup Support Center (BSSC) to help Thai and Vietnamese startups with their regional expansion plans, Nikkei Asian Review reported. 
Illustrative photo.
Illustrative photo.
Following a memorandum of understanding signed in May, BSSC would promote Thai companies’ expansion in Vietnam, where startups are booming, particularly in fintech and e-commerce, said Nikkei. 

Deputy Director of the BSSC Hang Nguyen said the center would help Thai startups understand Vietnamese traditions, politics and business practices, aiming to create new Thai and Vietnamese unicorns. 

To date, Vietnam has only one unicorn in online game business VNG Corporation. 

Pattarapong Kanhasuwan, chairman of Kasikornbank subsidiary KVision, said his company had earmarked US$245 million to invest in Thai and foreign startups, particularly those in Vietnam.

Since 2016, Vietnam has been aggressively nurturing its startup ecosystem, with the government pouring money into building out the country's communications infrastructure and welcoming foreign investment in high tech.

This has increased the country's internet penetration rate to 52% -- well above Thailand's 42% -- providing a welcoming environment for Vietnamese startups in fintech and other technologies.

In 2018, investment in Vietnamese startups reached $889 million, nearly triple the $291 million in 2017, according to a report by Topica Founder Institute, a startup accelerator.

Along with the BSSC, the Vietnamese government has established a project aptly named Silicon Valley Ecosystem, which is tasked with nurturing development of other technology startups.