Founder and Group CEO of Bitkub Capital Group Holdings Co., Ltd.
“Topp” Jirayut Srupsrisopa is the 31-year-old founder and CEO of Bitkub Capital Group Holdings. The cryptocurrency company has become Thailand’s first fintech startup to notch up a valuation of more than US$1 billion and reach the ultimate “unicorn” status.
The stunning accomplishment took place less than four years after the company’s inception.
Under Mr Jirayut’s leadership, Bitkub secured a licence from the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission in 2018 and went on to rapidly dominate more than 90% of the cryptocurrency market in Thailand.
It then received seed funding of $2.1 million, or approximately 67 million baht, from the Siamrath Group, DTAC Accelerate, and SeaX Ventures. The amount was the largest seed investment round among Thai startups.
With hundreds of hard-to-miss Bitkub advertisements in every corner of Bangkok, Thais have become familiar with this new type of digital payment system via Mr Jirayut's platform.
This eventually led to a breakthrough when Thailand’s largest commercial lender Siam Commercial Bank agreed to purchase a 51% stake in Bitkub for 17.85 billion baht in November 2021. As a result, the deal pushed the country’s biggest crypto exchange operator’s valuation to 35 billion baht and ultimately achieved the “unicorn” status.
Bitkub is now forging ahead with regional expansion next year through partnerships with players in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Laos.
Prior to founding Bitkub, Mr Jirayut started a company in April 2014 called Coins.co.th, which became Thailand’s leading bitcoin wallet company and was later sold to Indonesian tech company Gojek.
The young CEO has publicly revealed his troubled past on numerous occasions, saying that his path was filled with doubts and obstacles as he fought to prove his business’s legitimacy to family members and Thai regulators.
He eventually became a crypto wizard and has been recognised by the Bangkok Post in the Inspirer category at the CEO of the Year Awards.
Before Mr Jirayut became a fintech entrepreneur he was a financial consultant with San Francisco-based Marquis Advisory Group, a financial analyst with China-based Evotech Capital, and a development aid intern with the Democrat Party of Thailand.
The 31-year-old fintech entrepreneur currently serves as an executive board member and vice-president at the Thai Fintech Association, and is a subcommittee member at Thailand’s Office of Trade Competition Commission.
Mr Jirayut holds a Master of Philosophy in Economics from Oxford University and a Bachelor of Economics Science from the University of Manchester.