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Line drops $20m to produce first Thai unicorn

Written by Zhixin Tan Published on 

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Will this change the startup landscape in the country?

Despite having 90 funded startups that have managed to raise a total of US$271 million, Thailand has yet to produce its own unicorn. This situation is likely to change within the next three to five years.

Line Thailand and Line Ventures announced they have put aside US$20 million to help startups grow. The goal is to foster Thailand’s first unicorn within the next three to five years under Line’s ScaleUp post-accelerator programme for startups.

Line launched ScaleUp in Thailand specifically because the country appears less attractive for startups than its regional counterparts. In 2018, Thailand startups only managed to raise US$61 million, a sum that pales in contrast with US$3 billion raised by startups in Indonesia and US$890 million raised in Vietnam. Startup fundraising in Malaysia was also well ahead of that in Thailand last year, at US$148 million.

In February, Thailand’s Ministry of Industry inked an agreement to facilitate cooperation between Thailand’s InnoSpace and the Cyberport of Hong Kong to support the nation’s startups. The deal has been in effect since February 28th.

A homegrown Thai unicorn is likely to be found in the traveltech, fintech, or edtech sector. Earlier this March, StormBreaker Venture kickstarted ASEAN’s first edtech accelerator program, hoping to develop the first regional unicorn in the edtech vertical.

Editor: Brady Ng

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