14/9/2019 – Line aims to gather a collection of innovative startups that fits in its Super App strategies with the ScaleUp programme focusing on building the first Thai unicorn in 3 to 5 years.
“We selected Thailand as the first country to launch ScaleUp to help local startups have access to more extensive funding, with the belief we can build the first Thai unicorn startup within 3-5 years,” Jayden Kang, the executive director of global business development of Line Ventures, overseeing Thailand told Bangkok Post.
Among the Southeast Asian countries, Thai startups saw an investment of US$61M in 2018, compared to US$3B for Indonesia, US$890M for Vietnam and US$148M for Malaysia.
The ScaleUp programme will play the role of “post-accelerator”, helping startups in expanding their growth phase. Companies selected for the acceleration programme will have access to Line’s 44 million customers in Thailand and one year of free access to Line’s messaging application programming interface.
The programme will also be mentoring and coaching local startups in education, digital content/media, and e-commerce sectors that are aligned with Line’s present businesses.
Suitable businesses with present products and services that outlines a clear understanding of customer’s need will be considered as a candidate for the programme.
Thailand’s startup funding as a whole is still mainly in the seed and earlier stages of funding. With 48% in seed stage, 26% in series A and 9% in series B, said Kay Lim, head of global investment for Line Ventures Global, a venture capital arm under Line Corporation
Line forecasts that the first unicorn in Thailand will be among the travel tech, fintech and education tech.
Line Ventures had invested in 12 Southeast Asian firms, including US$5M in Fast Work’s series A funding.
The current acting managing director of Line Thailand is Eunjung Lee, Line’s senior vice-president of global business.