Thailand’s Kasikornbank is boldly moving into the world of Web3 and artificial intelligence (AI) with the announcement of its $100 million fund, KXVC. This fund is set to support technology companies looking to expand their operations in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. Kasikornbank is planning to invest in up to 30 startups across the European Union, the United States, Israel, and APAC, indicating its commitment to fostering innovation on a global scale.
Opening doors to Southeast Asia and APAC
Thanaarmates Arriyavat, the Director of KX Venture, emphasized that their investment approach goes beyond providing capital. He stated, “When we deploy our capital, it doesn’t mean we will provide just the money in a partnership. We want to make sure that we really open doors for a lot of companies and funds to be in the Southeast Asian (SEA) region and overall APAC.” This highlights their intention to fund startups and facilitate their entry into the SEA and APAC markets.
AI: a key focus area
KXVC has set its sights on specific AI and Web3 verticals in alignment with its objectives. In the realm of AI, the fund is actively seeking startups specializing in consumer-focused AI tools, cybersecurity, and problem-specific AI solutions. This focus on AI reflects the growing importance of artificial intelligence in various industries and the desire to support innovations that can drive meaningful change.
Web3: exploring the future of the Internet
Web3, the decentralized and blockchain-powered evolution of the internet, holds significant promise. KXVC recognizes this potential and intends to invest in key Web3 components, including node validators, middlewares, wallets, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and privacy-focused projects. The fund’s willingness to explore Layer-1 (L1) and Layer-2 (L2) blockchains, shared securities, and modularity technologies demonstrates its commitment to advancing the Web3 ecosystem.
Web3’s impact on digital ownership
Web3 technologies, such as NFTs, are transforming the concept of digital ownership. Thanaarmates Arriyavat pointed out that these innovations provide unique avenues for entities to engage with consumers and expand the boundaries of digital ownership. This perspective underscores the transformative potential of Web3 technologies in reshaping how individuals and businesses interact with digital assets.
Thailand’s aspiration to lead in Web3
Kasikornbank’s enthusiasm for Web3 aligns with Thailand’s ambitious plans in the blockchain and digital space. The country’s Prime Minister, Srettha Thavisin, has unveiled a groundbreaking initiative to distribute THB 10,000 (US$300) to each citizen above 18 years old through digital wallets. This innovative approach is expected to boost Thailand’s GDP by up to 2.5%, highlighting the economic potential of embracing digital technologies.
Regulatory landscape and talent pool
KXVC’s Executive Director, Thanaarmates Arriyavat, highlighted Southeast Asia’s progressive regulatory environment, particularly in Thailand and Indonesia. He believes the clear separation of tokens or digital assets with utility and security features in these regions will facilitate cross-border relationships among Web3 service providers. Additionally, Arriyavat emphasized that foreign Web3 firms entering the region will find no talent shortage, thanks to the depth of the local talent pool.
Kasikornbank’s $100 million fund, KXVC, is a significant step towards fostering innovation in AI and Web3 technologies. The bank is positioning itself as a key player in the rapidly evolving tech landscape by actively seeking startups and facilitating their expansion into the APAC region. As Thailand embraces Web3 initiatives and advances in digital adoption, it appears poised to become a hub for Web3 innovation in Southeast Asia. With KXVC’s support and the progressive regulatory environment, the future of AI and Web3 in the region looks promising.