Thai banking giants back DeFi startup Forward in $5 million seed round

Quick Take

  • The venture capital arms of some of Thailand’s biggest banks — Kasikornbank and the Bank of Ayudhya — backed DeFi platform Forward in a $5 million seed funding round. 
  • The round, led by Primestreet Capital, also featured participation from Ratanakorn Technology Group, GBV Capital and Varys Capital. 

The venture capital arms of some of Thailand's biggest banks have backed DeFi platform Forward in a $5 million seed funding round. 

According to a news release, venture capital firms associated with Kasikornbank and the Bank of Ayudhya, along with Ratanakorn Technology Group, GBV Capital and Varys Capital, took part in the round led by Primestreet Capital. Forward claims to be the first DeFi project to receive investment from global funds and two major Thai banks. 

Forward is a DeFi platform that's developing a protocol for decentralized derivative trading that matches long and short positions. The company said this means it doesn't have to limit order books or rely on market makers.

"The trading volume of derivative products is approximately 3 times larger than the spot volume and it is still growing," said Forward founder and CEO Chanon Charatsuttikul in the announcement. "Thus, Forward is focusing on developing a decentralized derivative platform, which is non-custodial with a system that prohibits transactions from sanctioned countries and addresses." 

The fund-raise comes amid fluctuations in the Thai cryptocurrency sector. Last month, Thailand's oldest bank, Siam Commercial Bank, abandoned a $500 million deal to acquire cryptocurrency exchange Bitkub.

The cancellation of the acquisition came about a month after the Thai Securities and Exchange commission ordered Bitkub to review the listing process of its KUB coin on the exchange.

Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi also recently shut down its operations in Thailand, citing regulatory issues.

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About Author

Tom is fintech reporter at The Block. Before joining the team, he was an editorial intern at the FT-backed platform Sifted where he reported on neobanks, payment firms and blockchain startups. Tom has a bachelors degree in International Relations and Japanese from SOAS, University of London.