Techsauce is served up this week in Bangkok – Friday 28 and Saturday 29 this week is the Start it UP Conference at Centara Grand.

The Thailand technology ecosystem is growing by leaps and bounds, in particular the eCommerce and fintech segments. You don’t want to miss this conference as it is generally the largest of the year, and unlike other conferences like e27 which travel around the region, Techsauce is authentic Thai.

Started by Amarit Charoenphan – he and has brother Charlie Charoenphan (who leads digital ventures accelerator). These two guys have pretty much have single handedly supported and built infrastructure for the Thai ecosystem from nothing in the past decade. Between the two of them, they have started the first accelerator- they have started the first coworking space, they have started the first publication, and the first thai specific startup event. I’m not even sure what other meta projects they could do in order to support Thailand’s startup scene, because they have also been involved with angel hack, startup grind, google business group and startup weekend – and I probably forgot some too.

in any event – TechSauce start it up event is on it’s third year now and the event last year was fantastic, including the food. If you haven’t already – you can pickup your tickets here.

In other Bangkok even news there is also APRIGF this week in Bangkok, starting on Wednesday.

If you haven’t already, buy your ticket and come to these fantastic events.

And remember:

Good things come to those who wait, but only things left by those who hustle.

investing

Thailand’s Kasikorn Bank has setup a tech fund of billion Thai Baht. K-Bank has named the  new fund Beacon Venture Capital (BVC).

Thanapong Na Ranong, formerly with working with InVent, a Venture Capital firm established by mobile operator AIS, will lead BVP and deploy funds both domestically and internationally.

The capital was raised 100 percent from the bank and will go towards direct investments in startups and fund of funds investments into fintech. This strategy follows very closely SCB’s Digital ventures.

Going forward, it is targeting three to five deals per year ranging from seed to Series A stage with a target across fintech. The firm aims to lead or co-lead investments with a check size of $500,000 to $3 million.

 

Thailand wants your fintech startup, and in order to support this need, the Government is aiming to raise 30 billion baht (USD 1 Billion) from investors by 2020.

National Innovation Agency (NIA) is working to sign an MOU with the Ministry of economy, Trade and Industry of Japan for startup collaboration. Another MOU in the works is with China’s leading technology firm for an accelerator development scheme.

Within the last year 2 different fintech accelerators have started up in Thailand:

  • Bangkok Bank (BBL) in partnership with Nest (Hong Kong based accelerator)
  • Digital Ventures (DV) which is an offshoot from Siam Commercial bank, and just graduated batch zero (b0)

There are several new fintech investors who have sprung up recently including

The bank of Thailand last year announced a Fintech Sandbox framework (similar to HK, UK, SG, MY, and others).

All in all, things are really heating up for the Thai startup ecosystem. Still remains an issue is finding talented employees who are skilled in the proper areas. However, this is a problem almost everywhere – and should improve with time and the proper education.

Given our geographic location large population and variety of industrial sectors, Thailand can be an investment hub for startups in the Region – Pun-Arj Chairatana – Director of NIA

In just a few days, thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, and startup enthusiasts from around the world will descend on the greatest city in the world – Bangkok Thailand.Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 8.38.28 AM

Techsauce Summit is the countries largest, homegrown tech conference and is sure not to disappoint. TechSauce is run as a partnership between HUBBA and Thumbsup – this conference really epitomizes the growth of the Thailand startup scene over just a few years.

Aim was the first co-working space in Thailand and has been supporting local startups with support, mentorship, office space and now investment funds (Hubba closed a round to support startups –from 500 Tuk Tuks and Ardent Capital which we reported here.

Fintech is particularly well endorsed, with no less than 4 banks dedicating funds to financial technology initiativesScreen Shot 2016-07-13 at 12.57.23 PM.

The Thai Startup scene has come a very long way in just a few years. There are now lots of local meetups, successful exits, angel investors and venture capitalists, and even the government has begun to show support. The future looks bright, and this is just the beginning.

If you want to go to Techsauce Summit, tickets are still available here.

The Thailand Future Fund may be launched in 2016 after the government finalises the issuing conditions. “The working group of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Finance Ministry has been working on the conditions that match the government’s demand to issue the fund worth Bt 100,000,000,000 since last year. Now we’re waiting for the final conditions, while the SEC is ready to carry out this policy,” – Duangmon Chuengsatiansup, Assistant Secretary-General of the SEC

This will be an infrastructure fund, and will provide funding for major infrastructure projects following the Chinese model of enticing the economy through public investments in infrastructure.

“The government wants to accelerate the investment of these infrastructure projects, as they will greatly improve the country’s investment atmosphere and competitiveness. Unless we set up this fund, the government will be able to do only a few projects… We set up this fund because we want the private sector to participate. This way, we will have long-term funding from insurance firms and retirement funds,” – Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong.

According to the State Enterprise Policy Office, the first phase of the fund was scheduled to be done in January. Thai and foreign investors will be allowed to join in the upcoming second phase.

Compared to the region, Thailand infrastructure is already pretty good. The roads are maintained, and Bangkok has an extensive rail system and 2 international airports. Many entrepreneurs and business owners would be happy if there was infrastructure set up to produce even faster internet, making Thailand the leading tech hub in the Mekong Delta region. It will be interesting to see where and how the Fund decides to invest.

 

 

stacks_thai_baht

Initiated by the OECD in 2013 and endorsed by the G-20, the OECD’s “Action Plan to Address Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)” includes 15 key areas to encourage more transparency, better reporting and more cooperation between countries in which multinational companies operate. {read: money is ‘slipping away’ from high tax jurisdictions through transfer pricing and we need to pressure south east asian countries to cooperate.}

Certain countries in Southeast Asia, namely Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines, may adopt some measures but it is expect that others, such as Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, have no engagement on BEPS.

Approved by the Cabinet in May this year and soon to be enacted, the Thai transfer-pricing law should be an interesting development. In general, Thailand has a relatively law transfer pricing law that allows for Thailand to remain an attractive hub for doing business. That being said, the accounting is already complex and adding more complexity doesn’t appear to be a sound measure.

Does the Thai revenue department really want to change a tax scheme for a country which has had ~>3% growth in it’s GDP year over year?

Transfer pricing is the setting of the price for goods and services sold between controlled (or related) legal entities within an enterprise. For example, if a subsidiary company sells goods to a parent company, the cost of those goods paid by the parent to the subsidiary is the transfer price. Within the context of Thailand, it will likely affect the trade between similar companies where they trade within arms length – or between related parties. For instance, where a Thailand company trades with a HK, MY or SG headquarters, the owners may be in for a rude awakening during an audit.

Intouch Holdings Public Company Limited (PCL), through its corporate venture capital arm InVent, has invested 23.84 million Thai Baht (US$674,000) in Bangkok-based golf course booking app startup Golfdigg, according to an official release today.

“This platform will help both Thai and international golfers by providing a convenient and simple way to book golf time slots, including a points collection for redeeming rewards such as merchandise and services,” said Bhurich Aksorntub, CEO and Co-founder of Golfdigg.

Golfdigg is the seventh company InVent has invested in. We’ve written about their support of the Thai startup ecosystem on several occasions before including their funding of Infinity levels game studio that pivoted from Dating application Avalable to make the app Hoof It.

Golfdigg is a “last minute golf deal” service & platform, providing deal finding, booking and payment online through Golfdigg smart phone application. The company claims that the “Last Minute Golf Deals that we provide are heavily discounted and may only be booked one day in advance.”

Golfdigg is a mobile golf booking service on iPhone and Android, currently offering
 over 20 golf courses all across Thailand with up to 80% discounts.

To use the service, simply download “Golfdigg” from the Thai Apple App Store , find the deal that you like, choose the time slot, amount of players, then pay online with your credit card via payment gateway.
Editorial Thought: Thai Lion Air’s motto is “We Make People Fly”. Golfdigg’s motto is “We make people play golf” In traditional use of the english language, to “make” someone do something is similar to “force” them to do it. To put it simply, as a consumer, it might not perceived as ‘friendly’. Better to say we empower, allow, or give the privilege. Making someone do something sounds more like something you are making them do which they might not choose to do? Anyway – Thai Lion Air has plenty of money to hire a native english writer. Maybe Golfdigg should hire a copywriter so they can help people book last minute deals to play golf. Copywriting aside, this looks like an interesting play on the on-demand services and products that are currently sweeping the startup scene from Silicon Valley to Singapore, and now Thailand. Golfdigg is already in solid position out on the fairway, let’s see if they can get “up and down” for a nice birdie. Best of luck!

 

 

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Thailand is hoping that crowdfunding could provide an alternative for small companies struggling to fund growth as banks cut back on lending.

Thai banks have tightened lending criteria as the economy falls short of government growth targets and the number of small- and medium-sized enterprises defaulting on loans rises.

The Securities and Exchange Commission expects to authorise the first Internet portal, that would match firms seeking funding with small equity investors, by the end of the year, Sarica Apiwatthakakul, director of intermediary licensing and SME financing department, said in a written response to questions on Friday.

A small number of crowdfunding portals already exist in Thailand, such as www.taejai.com and www.perdmuak.com, mostly raising funds for charity and rewards-based funding.

 

Thailand’s first co-working space HUBBA has raised a round of financing from Ardent Capital and 500 Startups.

Amarit Charoenphan who runs the co-working space with his brother Charlie, is one of the most well connected and most helpful people in the Thailand Startup ecosystem.

SiamStartup team wish him good luck on his journey to help at least one Thai tech startup reach a valuation of US$1 billion by 2020.

Quote from Adrent Capital director Khun Tee Suraphonchai given to e27:

“Thailand has the talent, growth potential, and now the funding to help build and scale homegrown companies. HUBBA’s focus on the big picture is exactly the type of vision we seek when making such investments,” said Tee Suraphongchai, Director, Ardent Capital.

Co-working spaces are a center for innovation, collaboration, networking and vital to any startup ecosystem. Since meeting Aim more than 4 years ago, he has done nothing but work to make Hubba more valuable for it’s key stakeholders. Good to see him get financing as Aim and his brother were the first mover in this space.

Cheers and congrats on your financing Hubba – You’ll Never Work Alone. download (2)

coworking space

coworking spaceAre you an internet entrepreneur in Thailand looking for a physical space in which to work while you launch your startup business? Maybe you’re a talented developer, coder, or graphic designer looking for somewhere to get serious work done and network with other freelancers and potential clients. In either case, a co-working space may be the perfect solution for you.

Co-working spaces have sprouted up all over Bangkok and other cities in the past few years, giving entrepreneurs, bloggers, freelancers, and digital nomads of all sorts a flexible alternative to working out of a traditional office or from a coffee shop.

Most co-working spaces offer a variety of payment options such as daily, weekly, and monthly rates. The WiFi is fast, plenty of desks and comfortable seating is waiting for you, and great coffee will surely be on hand to power you up through your workday. The stimulating environment and chance to connect with other entrepreneurial types is another benefit of using a co-working space for your startup’s base of operations.

 

UPDATED MAY 27-2015

Here are some co-working spaces in Thailand worth checking out:

Bangkok

Hubba

19 Soi Ekkamai 4, Sukumvit 63

Hubba was Bangkok’s first co-working space. It’s set up in a large house surrounded by a garden near the Swedish embassy, not far from the Ekkamai BTS station. The have hot desks, sofas, beanbags, and meeting rooms. If you need to let off some steam there’s even a trampoline in the garden. Hubba has quickly established itself as a hub for location independent entrepreneurs and local startups. Regular events include meetups, design courses, and training sessions.

Facilities:

  • Ultra high-speed WiFi and LAN with backup
  • Meeting rooms and event space
  • Post box and locker rental
  • Free coffee, tea, water, and snacks
  • Member bulletin board
  • Showers, pantry, and canteen
  • 24 hour CCTV and security guard

Visitor/Membership:

  • 1 Day – 260 baht
  • 20 Days flexible – 4400 baht
  • Month – 4650 baht

Launchpad

139, Sethiwan Tower 1st, Pan Road, Silom

Launchpad is one of the largest co-working spaces in Bangkok, with 800 square meters of space to work in. It’s located on the first floor of Sethiwan Tower, which is just a six minute walk from Surasak BTS station. as the name would suggest, launchpad is the ideal physical location from which to launch a bootstrapped startup company in Bangkok. launchpad hosts special events and workshops regularly, including weekly meetups.

Facilities:

  • Fixed and flexible desks and private offices
  • Ultra high speed Internet with back up
  • Six meeting rooms of different sizes, ranging from 4 – 12 people
  • Event place with a capacity of up to 250 people
  • Add-on services such as lockers, 24-hour security, pantry and etc.

Visitor/Membership:

  • 1 Day – 260 baht
  • 15 Days flexible – 3705 baht
  • 30 Days flexible – 7020 baht
  • 90 Days flexible – 19,890 baht

Third Place Bangkok

137-137/1 Sukhumvit 63 (Thonglor 10)

The Third Place is a Co-working club that aims to bridge the gap between your first and second places, namely home and work. It is designed to be a casual place to meet up with friends, other freelancers, or your startup business partners. Membership to their club allows free use of WiFi and other facilities, along with food and drink discounts. The have a mix of desk and sofa seating, with some PCs available for use. The Third Place also features an art gallery and hosts workshops on the art of coffee making.

Facilities for club members:

  • Unlimited free WiFi for your laptop
  • PC computers with WiFi for free use
  • Food and drink discounts
  • Lobby lounge and workstation
  • UBC cable TV
  • International and Thai magazines
  • Meeting rooms for 8-20 people with DVD player and 42″ plasma TV

Membership:

  • 1 Day Pass – 300 baht (includes 1 free drink)
  • Monthly – 899 baht

Klique Desk

94 Soi Sukhumvit 23 (Prasarnmitr)

Centrally located near Asoke BTS station, Klique desk is another popular co-working space. They make up for a lack of natural lighting with liberal use of bright yellow in the interior, which could be a plus or negative for you depending on your personal taste. The have a lot of optional services on offer, which can allow you to set up a virtual office such as: dedicated phone lines for your company, reception service to answer call with your company name, call forwarding, business mailing address, and mail forwarding service.

Facilities:

  • Unlimited high-speed internet connection
  • Optional dedicated phone lines for your company
  • Mailing address services and use of a central fax line
  • Optional phone reception services
  • Free use of private Phone booth
  • Free parking
  • Free drinking water
  • Fully equipped Print/Scan/Fax area

Visitor/Membership:

  • 1 Day pass – 250 baht
  • Monthly permanent desk -16,000 baht

Glowfish Offices

2nd & 3rd Floor, Asoke Towers, 219/1 Sukhumvit 21 (Asoke Road)

Conveniently located at Asoke Towers, Glowfish Offices is a co-working space that can also function as a real or virtual office for your startup company. They offer a Virtual Office package for just 2500 baht per month that includes: Bangkok postal address and fax number, someone to answer and forward your calls, up to one hour per day free use of the co-working space, and free access to events and workshops. In addition to this, Glowfish also has Serviced Offices that can accommodate up to 8 people starting at 20,000 baht per month.

Facilities:

  • Co-working spaces and lounge
  • Fast WiFi network
  • Dedicated personal lockers
  • Reception will forward your calls and handle your postal mail
  • Free events, guest speakers, and workshops
  • Meeting rooms

Visitor/Membership:

  • 1 Day – 200 baht (includes 1 coffee)
  • 30 Days – 5500 baht

Ma:D

Sukhumvit 63 (Ekkamai) Ekkamai 4

Ma:D bills itself as a hub for social entrepreneurs. They are teaming up with Hubba and Pah Space so that membership at any one will allow use of facilities at the others. Ma:D is also planning to become a model of sustainable energy use and help promote health habits among its members in order to avoid symptoms of office syndrome.

Facilities:

  • High-speed WiFi
  • Meeting rooms and event space
  • Showers
  • Private offices

Visitor/Membership:

  • 1 Day – 265 baht
  • Month – 4650 baht

The Hive Bangkok

46/9 Soi Sukhumvit 49

The Hive is located in the Thonglor area of Sukhumvit with a mix of offices, shops, and private residences in the neighborhood. It is a branch of the Hive co-working space in Hong Kong. On five floors, they have a mix of armchairs, sofas, working tables, and private offices. It’s a bright, airy space with high ceilings and plenty of natural light. They also hold special events such as beer idea and open air cinema.

Facilities:

  • High-speed Internet
  • Hotdesks, lounge area, and meeting rooms
  • Chilled drinks, hot tea and coffee
  • Phone booth and printing facilities
  • Private offices
  • Rooftop terrace
  • Post box and storage lockers for all members

Visitor/Membership:

  • 1 Day Pass – 250 baht
  • 10 Days per Month – 3200 baht
  • 1 Month Hotdesk – 5000 baht
  • 1 Month Dedicated Desk – 5700 baht
  • 1 Month Office – 6500 baht

Startup House Asia

Baan Chicha Castle 199/17, Sukhumvit soi 31

Startup House Asia is located in the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok, about 10 minutes walk from Phetchaburi MRT station. It is more than just a place to work. In addition to co-working space, they also have dormitory rooms for young entrepreneurs from other countries to stay in.

Facilities:

  • Free WiFi
  • Free drinking water
  • Working desks and tables
  • Event space
  • Dormitory rooms
  • Shower and kitchen

 

Pah Creative Space

40/1 Ekkamai 4, Sukhumvit 63 Rd

Pah Creative Space is a new co-working space developed for creative types such as photographers, architects, and designers. Their facilities include professional quality drafting tables and a mini photography studio with professional lighting. If you have a pet dog, you are welcome to drop them off in the dog playground while you get to business. And for those times when the stress of working gets to be to much for you, you can blow off some steam throwing punches at a boxing style punching bag or playing a game of ping pong. Pah is located in the trendy Thonglor/Ekkamai area.

Facilities:

  • High-speed WiFi
  • Meeting rooms
  • Ping pong table
  • Coffee, tea, and snacks
  • Printer
  • Dog playground
  • Photography studio
  • Drafting tables for designers
  • Punching bag

Visitor/Membership:

  • 1 Day – 260 baht
  • 20 Days flexi – 4400 baht
  • Month – 4650 baht

The Sync

1111/67 Soi 6, Ban Klang Muang, Lad Prao Rd

The Sync intends to be a creative community for social innovation. It’s located in the Lad Phrao area of northern Bangkok, a 10 minutes walk from the Lad Phrao MRT station. The host events and activities, and they also provide consulting services for social entrepreneurs in areas of IT, business, and finance. Rather than simply providing WiFi and a desk to get your own work done, the Sync is trying to build a community of people who want to come together and make changes in the world.

Facilities:

  •  WiFi
  • Office space, individual desks, and hot desks
  • Kitchen
  • Printer / scanner / fax
  • Coffee and tea

COMET

adjcent to BTS-WongwienYai station OPENS LATE 2015

It will suite for SME and start-up company that want to open its office in the most convenient location in Bangkok with cheaper price than others. The concept of our product is to renovate old style building adjacent BTS station to a new prestige office space that all start-up companies can rent and expand their business. Warm-hearted service mind is our uniqueness.

The project will start construction in July and will be ready for moving in in December 2015.

Chaing Mai

Punspace

14 Sirimangkalajarn Lane 11

Punspace is located near the trendy Nimmanhaemin area of Chiang Mai, and has the distinction of being this northern Thai city’s first co-working space. In addition to a large number of hotseats, they also have meeting rooms and private office space available. Punspace hosts a number of special events and workshops of interest to Chiang Mai’s fledging digital nomad and Internet entrepreneur community. Punspace has a partnership with Hubba, Launchpad, and Pah Space in Bangkok as well as AngkorHub in Siam Riep, Cambodia—Punspace members get 3 free working days per month at these partner co-working spaces in the region.

Facilities:

  • Reliable WiFi
  • Meeting room with flat-screen TV and webcam
  • 24/7 access for members
  • Free coffee, tea, water, and snacks
  • Printer, Scanner, Copier, Fax, Monitor
  • Skype room

Visitor/Membership:

  • 1 Day – 199 baht
  • 10 Days flexi – 1890 baht
  • Month – 3499 baht

Guru’s Box

Room 301, Kantary Terrace, Nimmanhaemin Soi 12

Guru’s Box is the latest co-working space to emerge in the trendy Nimman area of Chiang Mai—with a wide variety of restaurants and coffee shop just a stone’s throw away for when you need a break. Guru’s box has a mix of desk height working tables and low tables with cushion seating for those who prefer to flex their hips and sit on the floor. There are also two meeting rooms and lockers for members to use.

Facilities:

  • Work tables and floor seating
  • Lockers
  • WiFi
  • Meeting rooms

Visitor/Membership:

  • 1 Day – 200 baht
  • 10 Days – 1900 baht
  • Monthly – 3600 baht

Coffee Monster

Rat Uthit Soi 7 (off Canal Rd)

Coffee Monster is a co-working space attached to a restaurant and coffee shop in a quiet area on the northwest side of Chiang Mai. Coffee Monster holds lots of events including regular meetups for online marketers.

Facilities:

  • Desk space, office style chairs, large tables, and standing bench
  • Hi-speed internet
  • International power points
  • Meeting room
  • Podcasting studio
  • Events area

Visitor/Membership:

  • 1 Day – 200 baht
  • 1 Week – 1000 baht
  • 1 Month – 4000 baht
  • 3 Months – 10,000 baht

 

Photo credit: Jason Whittaker / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA