Thailand aims to mint homegrown unicorn in three to five years

A joint venture with Hong Kong’s Cyberport may help.

Photo by Andreas Brücker on Unsplash

Thailand is the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia, and its startup scene has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years. In 2012, the country had a mere three funded startups, with a total of US$2.1 million raised; five years later, Thailand had 90 funded startups that managed to raise a sum of US$271 million, according to a report by Thai tech and business news outlet TechSauce.

However, the country has yet to produce its own unicorn, even as its Southeast Asian counterparts Singapore and Indonesia have each already minted multiple billion-dollar startups. That situation could change soon, as Thailand’s Ministry of Industry is pushing to promote the country’s tech startups. The goal is to create a homegrown unicorn in three to five years.

To make that happen, the ministry has signed an agreement to facilitate cooperation between Thailand’s InnoSpace and the Cyberport of Hong Kong. InnoSpace is a joint venture between public and private entities in Thailand, set up to support the nation’s startups. Hong Kong’s Cyberport is a tech startup incubator managed by a government-owned company, located on Hong Kong Island’s western edge. The agreement will come into effect on February 28th, according to local reports.

Under the THB 500 million (US$16 million) joint venture, InnoSpace and the country’s conglomerates and public agencies will co-invest in 40 to 50 local startups. Cyberport will provide consultation for startup incubation, including financing and management.

Editor: Brady Ng