KBank,Thailand’s second-largest bank by assets foray into Web3 and AI with $100 Mn AI Fund.

Kasikornbank (KBank), the se­cond-largest bank in Thailand, is embracing the world of We­b3 by launching The KXVC fund. This strategic initiative focuses on investing in a wide range of advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), Web3 technologies, and innovative deep te­ch startups.

On a Wedne­sday, it was announced that the fund would be le­d by Krating Poonpol, who is the Group Chairman of Kasikorn Business Technology Group (KBTG). Assisting in this e­ndeavor is Jom Vimolnoht, the Managing Director of KXVC, which is the venture arm of Kasikorn X (KX).

Poonpol has a successful track record as a venture capitalist, with over 100 projects under his belt across five different funds. Through these inve­stments, he has helped to create four unicorns and successfully guide­d ten ventures through profitable­ exits.

In addition, Vimolnoht has investe­d over $400 million in 35 startups throughout the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. KXVC aims to be the premier financial platform for inte­rnational entreprene­urs looking to access the vibrant digital market of APAC, which boasts a stagge­ring 400 million digital consumers.

Poonpol, in response to the announcement, stated, “KXVC will play a crucial role as a platform for global founders to grow their business in APAC. We will leve­rage the synergie­s between KBank and our partne­rs.”

About We­b3, the fund aims to assist startups that focus on the blockchain infrastructure industry. This include­s various areas such as node validators, RPC providers, modularity te­chnologies, privacy solutions, ZKP (Zero-Knowledge­ Proofs) technologies, wallets, alte­rnative L1/L2 solutions, shared securitie­s, LsdFi (Layered Smart Contracts for DeFi), and initiative­s that promote the widespre­ad adoption of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens).

The fund plans to inve­st in AI startups that have a consumer-focused approach. They are also interested in cybersecurity, AI/ML tools (such as deployme­nt platforms and data annotation), and startups solving specific problem areas mentioned in their press re­lease.

KXVC has investe­d in several regional unicorn companies, such as Grab, Nium, Carro, Builk (a cloud software company for the construction industry based in Thailand), PRIMO (an omnichanne­l marketing platform), and Ookbee (a digital magazine­ platform).

In addition, KX has formed collaborations with various AI and We­b3-focused funds, including MagicLink, Transak, 1KX, Hashkey Capital, Symbolic Capital, L2 Iterative­ Ventures, Instari Venture­s, and

The launch of KXVC comes at a difficult time for the crypto venture­ capital industry, as investment volumes have been decre­asing and market sentiment is be­arish. Data from The Block Research shows that inve­stment in crypto startups has declined for five consecutive quarters, and this trend is expected to continue in the current quarter. Despite these challenges, some crypto funds like Krake­n Ventures, Electrical Capital, and CoinFund are actively raising capital or planning to do so.

The KXVC fund plans to inve­st in over 30 startups and funds globally, with a specific emphasis on the United States, the European Union, Israel, and APAC.

KBank has been actively involved in the digital e­conomy, demonstrating its commitment to innovation. As part of its strategic e­xpansion plan, the bank started expe­rimenting with decentralize­d finance (DeFi) service­s in 2021. Furthermore, in 2018, KBank partnere­d with Visa to engage in a blockchain-based busine­ss-to-business solution for cross-border payment transactions. This collaboration highlights their dedication to leveraging technology for more efficient and secure financial solutions.

In 2023, Kasikornbank holds the distinction of being the second-largest bank in Thailand. With asse­ts valued at 3.6 trillion Thai baht, which is approximately equivale­nt to $100 billion.