Beacon Venture Capital is leading a funding round of US$6.5 million (203 million baht) for Jitta, a Bangkok-based "wealthtech" startup, marking the biggest pre-Series A round for a Thai startup preparing to enter the global market.
Beacon VC, a corporate venture capital arm of Kasikornbank (KBank), aims to make Jitta the first Thai unicorn -- a startup with a valuation exceeding 1 billion baht within three years -- and will raise funds on the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
"We think Jitta has the potential to become a unicorn in Series C or D very soon," said Thanapong Na Ranong, managing director of Beacon VC.
The company is Jitta's lead investor in pre-Series A and it will bring the startup to raise Series A funding in 2020 as Beacon has invested in multiple international funds in Singapore and that will connect Jitta to overseas market and investors.
Jitta is one of the few Thai startups with a highly scalable product that can expand into the foreign market quickly, Mr Thanapong said.
He noted that wealth management is a huge global market.
Beacon VC, which has 4 billion baht in funding, has already invested 2 billion in nine projects, said Mr Thanapong. Jitta is one of them and two more projects will be announced soon.
"We mainly invest in fintech startups that have technology to support banks and customers, such as the $50 million investment with GrabPay," he said.
The company will use Jitta's technology to integrate with KBank's private management services.
Trawut Luangsomboon, Jitta's chief executive and co-founder, said by the second quarter Jitta will launch Jitta Wealth Asset Management, an automated private fund powered by its own proprietary artificial intelligence.
Jitta is in the process of obtaining a private fund licence from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to the BCG Global Asset Management 2018 report, global assets under management (AUM) reached $79.2 trillion in 2017, an increase of 12%, the strongest rate in a decade thanks to growth in China and the US.
Total AUM in Thailand was about $190 billion, growing 7.6% from 2017, and has been increasing every year.
Jitta aims to tap 1% of total AUM in Thailand.
Jitta Wealth will be open to individuals who have at least 1 million baht for investment and will charge a management fee of 0.5% per year with 10% profit-sharing.
The company's fee is competitive when compared with normal private management services that charge a 1.5-2% annual fee for an investment range of 20-30 million baht.
Jitta aims to introduce service in India and Singapore through collaboration with potential local partners, and Vietnam and the US are long-term destinations.
Starting operations in 2014, the company has the Jitta.com stock analysis platform that gathered 10 years of financial reports from SET-listed firms.
Jitta.com provides access to stock analysis data for 95% of the world's stocks from 16 territories globally and can boast 200,000 users in 128 countries.