Krungsri Organises Japan-ASEAN Startup Business Matching Fair 2024, To Ignite Startup Growth Beyond ASEAN
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Krungsri Organises Japan-ASEAN Startup Business Matching Fair 2024, To Ignite Startup Growth Beyond ASEAN

Krungsri, in collaboration with Thai, Japanese, and ASEAN partners, organised the largest startup business matching event in ASEAN, providing a platform for over 60 rising startups from six countries to showcase their potential to more than 180 leading international investors and companies, aiming to support their growth beyond the ASEAN region.

A "startup" is a new enterprise with the potential for exponential growth by integrating and developing knowledge from science, technology, and social sciences into innovations that solve the public's daily life problems (Pain Points). These innovations have significant potential to drive the economy. However, many startups lack early-stage funding, preventing them from reaching their dream of becoming "unicorns."

On 19 June 2024, at Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok, Bank of Ayudhya Public Company Limited, or Krungsri, a member of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), a global financial institution from Japan, along with partners from Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa), Techo Startup Center, and Khmer Enterprise, an agency under Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance, organised the "Japan-ASEAN Startup Business Matching Fair 2024" to match quality startups with investors looking to support their growth. The event provided a platform for over 60 startups from six countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Indonesia, and Japan, to showcase their potential to more than 180 leading international investors and companies, resulting in over 400 business matchings. This initiative aims to help these startups access funding and expand their growth beyond the ASEAN region.

On this occasion, H.E. Mr. Otaka Masato, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Thailand, honoured the event by presiding over the ceremony. He spoke about this collaboration, stating that supporting startups is one of the initiatives backed by the Japanese government.

H.E. Mr. Otaka said, “This support aligns with Japan's strategy for transitioning to environmental sustainability or green transformation and promoting Thailand's new economic model, the BCG Model. The key to the success of this event is the collaboration to create genuine mutual benefits (Co-creation). The Japanese government is ready to support this event in partnership with the Thai government and the private sectors in Thailand and ASEAN to create business opportunities, especially in the fields of innovation, sustainability, AI and robotics, and promote economic ties between ASEAN and Japan, as well as support the growth of startups beyond the ASEAN region.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Nattapon Nimanphatcharin, CEO of depa, emphasised the potential for innovative partnerships between Japan and ASEAN through digital startups, pivotal in advancing economic growth. Digital manpower development with innovative ideas and inventive solutions not only opens new market avenues and attracts investments but also fosters job creation. Moreover, these initiatives promise to enhance the quality of life, particularly in environmental and social realms, catalysing transformative progress and championing sustainable development nationwide.

“We are always committed to providing skill tools and upskilling programmes to equip manpower with new skills, especially cloud innovation and AI technology,” Dr. Nattapon said, while also expressing hope for “Thailand to be a new market for ‘digital startups’ in the near future as Thailand now has the country’s digital valley in the Eastern Economic Corridors (EEC), which is set to be a paradise for technological companies.”

Kenichi Yamoto, CEO of Bank of Ayudhya Public Company Limited, said, “This year’s event is a significant outcome of the resounding success from last year’s event. The event aims to strengthen the startup ecosystem and provide market opportunities for startups. Together, we share a dynamic vision of creating an ecosystem that empowers startups with financial backing, cutting-edge technology, and valuable business insights. Our goal is to ignite continuous innovation and drive technological advancements to tackle global challenges across diverse sectors. To do so, we fuel the growth of the Thai economy and champion sustainable development throughout the regional economy. With our proven expertise in organising impactful business matching events—a standout feature of Krungsri’s services—we are dedicated to forging powerful connections within the business community. We are poised and confident in achieving over 400 successful business matchings.”

He added, “In 2023, Krungsri is emphasising connectivity within ASEAN by enhancing its business consulting services to connect the entire ASEAN region through a new service called 'ASEAN LINK.' This service is designed to meet all business needs, helping clients grow in 9 countries across ASEAN and expand into over 50 countries worldwide through MUFG's strong network.”

Krungsri ASEAN LINK fuels regional startup growth

“Krungsri Business Link is a regional business service for ASEAN, leveraging the robust network of Krungsri and MUFG. It has an in-depth understanding of various industries and can design and offer tailor-made financial solutions to meet specific customer needs. These services range from consulting, market analysis, and providing economic trend information to support international investments, developing and establishing regional business offices, and business matching, among others,” Mr. Kenichi explained.

Unlocking Business Potential with Krungsri Business Link: Comprehensive Solutions for Growth

Recognising the significant role digital technology plays in simplifying life today, Krungsri Bank has developed the Krungsri Business Link platform. This online business matching service is designed to facilitate businesses in finding, contacting, and negotiating with partners both domestically and internationally, anytime and anywhere, aiming to help businesses expand their markets.

The platform includes: 1) Business matching services. 2) Spaces to showcase products and services. 3) Tools to find business partners for various collaborations online quickly and efficiently through Krungsri's and MUFG Group's reliable network, including over 5,000 Thai and international companies. This helps Thai entrepreneurs confidently expand their business opportunities in ASEAN and globally.

Launched in 2022, Krungsri Business Link initially invited a select group of bank clients to trial the service, receiving feedback to ensure the platform meets business needs. Now, it is open to all interested businesses, both Krungsri and MUFG network clients, at no cost.

Users can also participate in ongoing Business Matching activities organised by the bank, with free registration available at The platform also offers expert business advice and comprehensive knowledge resources for members, making Krungsri more than just a financial institution, but a supportive partner in every business step.

“Having MUFG and its global network is one of our key strengths, especially for clients looking to expand abroad. This platform allows our clients to connect with reliable partners in the MUFG network. Initially, we focus on ASEAN countries such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, and Vietnam, aligning with Krungsri's ASEAN connectivity strategy, moving towards becoming a regional bank,” Mr. Kenichi added.

Examples of leading distributors in ASEAN, who are Krungsri's network partners:

  1. Ralali (Indonesia): A leading 'Tech Enabler' B2B platform from Indonesia, offering a diverse range of industry products with over 1.9 million users and nearly 170,000 stores.
  2. Namh24 (Cambodia): A leading Cambodian app offering various services, from food delivery and ride-hailing to online shopping and ticket sales.
  3. Karavan (Vietnam): A B2B e-commerce startup connecting entrepreneurs with grocery stores, restaurants, cafes, and SMEs, covering over 50,000 entities nationwide.

“We are proud to be a part of igniting further advancement of the startup ecosystem in the ASEAN region,” Mr. Kenichi amplified.

Participating startups in the Japan-ASEAN Startup Business Matching Fair 2024 included Pai-R, a Japanese startup specialising in logistics and Internet of Things (IoT), Vendee X, a Lao startup focused on Food Tech, and AI Farm, a leading robotic and automation startup from Cambodia, among many others.

“This event marks another milestone for Krungsri, highlighting our unwavering commitment to ‘Being the top Thai bank fulfilling customers’ needs across ASEAN’. It underscores Krungsri's strategic vision of building robust networks and partnerships throughout ASEAN, focusing on sustainable business practices, and our relentless pursuit of innovation to deliver cutting-edge, human-centric digital and innovative products and services. These efforts aim to benefit customers in Thailand and ASEAN while paving the way towards a sustainable future for all,” concluded Mr. Kenichi.

The event featured dynamic startup pitching sessions, interactive business matching activities, and exhibition booths showcasing over 60 entrepreneurs and startups. Leveraging its expertise and extensive network in Japan and across ASEAN as part of MUFG, Krungsri has been pivotal in supporting and investing in innovative technologies and startups. This event inspires entrepreneurs and startups to showcase their potential and creativity through business initiatives that align with evolving global trends. Moreover, it serves as a platform for startups to connect with eager investors looking to nurture growth beyond ASEAN. It also facilitates the exchange of vital knowledge on financial management, technical expertise, and essential innovation for business success.

The event also featured seminars on the topics of “Startups in ASEAN” by Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting and “Co-Creating Societal Impact – Next Move of ASEAN and Japan Collaboration” by Mitsubishi Research Institute. Discussions included ASEAN startup challenges such as complicated regulations and procedures, limited funding sources, limited manpower, and market competitiveness. Other topics covered were the ecosystem for startups, trends in impact investment in Thailand, impact investment and ESG investment, co-creating social impact, and the importance of Impact Measurement and Management (IMM).

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