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

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The venture capital arms of some of Thailand’s largest banks have backed the DeFi Forward platform in a $5m seed funding round.

Venture capital firms associated with Kasikornbank and Bank of Ayudhya, as well as Ratanakorn Technology Group, GBV Capital and Varys Capital, participated in the round led by Primestreet Capital, according to a press release. 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 develops a protocol for decentralized derivatives trading that matches long and short positions. The company said this means it doesn’t have to limit its order books or rely on market makers.

“Derivatives trading volume is about 3x larger than spot volume and it continues to grow,” Forward Founder and CEO Chanon Charatsuttikul said in the announcement. “Thus, Forward is focused on developing a decentralized derivative platform, which is non-custodial with a system that prohibits transactions from sanctioned countries and addresses.”

The fundraising comes amid fluctuations in Thailand’s cryptocurrency sector. Last month, Thailand’s oldest bank, Siam Commercial Bank, dropped a $500 million deal to acquire cryptocurrency exchange Bitkub.

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

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

© 2022 The Block Crypto, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended for use as legal, tax, investment, financial or other advice.

About the Author

Tom is a fintech journalist at The Block. Prior to joining the team, he was an editorial intern at the FT-backed platform Sifted, where he reported on neobanks, payment companies and blockchain startups. Tom holds a BA in International Relations and Japanese from SOAS, University of London.

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