Throughout the first half of 2021, venture investments in crypto-related businesses had doubled the figures shown in all recent years. Today, it was announced that the Thailand-based crypto start-up Zipmex has managed to amass $41 million from the Bank of Ayudhya Pcl and various media companies from across the country. The total amount of funds drawn by Zipmex adds up to roughly $52 million.
Zipmex is a Thailand-based decentralised cryptocurrency exchange. The platform has been running since 2019, at which time the country’s regulatory framework was still in development. It offers a variety of services to its users, including interest-bearing accounts on their wallets. The exchange is reported to have processed $4 billion worth of gross transaction value ever since launch.
In late 2019, while Zipmex was awaiting a licence from the country’s regulators, it was still expanding its services into other areas of Southeast Asia, including Indonesia and Australia.
The venture round was aided by Krungsri Finnovate, the venture arm of The Bank of Ayudhya (BAY), one of the biggest banks in Thailand. BAY is, in turn, part of the Japanese finance group Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) and is one of the first-ever banks in the world and the first-ever in Southeast Asia to have invested in a digital assets exchange.
Sam Tanskul, the current Managing Director at Krungsri, shared his thoughts on the investment: “The close cooperation between us and Zipmex is a strong indication that we are in full support of financial development and innovation through different technological means and a strong belief that Zipmex will play a crucial role in such developments not just in Thailand, but in the Asia-Pacific region. Krungsri believes that this is an important opportunity for the Bank to dive into the digital assets industry and build a strong ecosystem that would provide solutions to our customers’ changing needs.”
With the influx of new financing, Zipmex is planning to develop its technological infrastructure, establish new business partnerships, attract new talents for developing the platform, and of course, diversify its offer.
Marcus Lim, founder and CEO of Zipmex, has announced that the focus of the new financing will be expanding the platform’s influence on key markets.
He said, “This commitment from Krungsri Finnovate is a huge step forward for us. It represents not only the validation of our business model and approach to innovation but also of the potential for digital assets to become a core part of our lifestyle. A marriage of digital assets and traditional banking can provide new innovative use cases for money, which we have demonstrated through ZipWorld.”
Over half of the platform’s client base is based in Thailand, and about one-fifth is in Indonesia. The exchange is also present in Singapore and Australia, where it plans to expand its coverage. At the moment Zipmex is applying for a Major Payment Institution license with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to authorize a number of products and services, including digital tokens.
It’s always encouraging to see a DeFi biggie win the trust of official banks and regulators. Right now, the Asian region is a promising place for crypto. Hopefully, Zipmex will serve as an example of how a DeFi platform can cooperate with official institutions, benefitting each other and the people.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.
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