Ten SMEs, startups likely to tap into LiVEx this year

Ten SMEs, startups likely to tap into LiVEx this year

Ten small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups are expected to list and raise funds through LiVE Exchange (LiVEx) this year, according to Prapan Charoenprawatt, executive vice-president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and president of LiVEx.

LiVEx is a new exchange under the SET that aims to provide SMEs and startups with access to fundraising.

Mr Prapan said 10 SMEs and startups have shown an interest in seeking fundraising via the platform after LiVEx announced its listing criteria on March 31.

Advance Web Service (AWS), a digital business solutions provider, was the first company to submit a filing and is seeking public opinions on the listing.

"The SET has been the main source of fundraising for the private sector," he said. "We believe companies that list on LiVEx will be able to grow and move to larger markets, such as the Market for Alternative Investment [MAI] or SET, and generate higher returns for investors."

Mr Prapan said the funding and listing criteria for LiVEx had been specifically designed to ensure that SMEs and startups will achieve a successful fundraising that can create growth for both the companies and other stakeholders.

The listing criteria for LiVEx is more lenient than for the SET and MAI to provide greater flexibility for smaller companies that need funds for expansion, but are ineligible for fundraising on the larger, more sophisticated exchanges. However, LiVEx's relatively lenient rules mean the criteria for investors is tighter, requiring higher levels of knowledge, experience, financial capacity and risk tolerance.

Thai tycoon Chatchaval Jiaravanon, an experienced investor in SMEs and startups, said LiVEx will provide a solution by offering greater access to public funding for small companies that are looking to grow.

He recommends investing in SMEs and startups that operate in flourishing industries such as technology, blockchain and agribusinesses cultivating hemp and cannabis plants. Mr Chatchaval also advises choosing firms with good technological and digital infrastructure as they have greater capacity to expand and create growth.

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