Line invests US$20M to produce first Thai unicorn

by Felicia Calle

With the ScaleUp program, Line Thailand and Line Ventures target to have the first Thai unicorn within the next three to five years, pledging a total of US$20 million (632 million baht) to help Thai startups grow their business.

Line intends to gather innovative startups to strengthen its Super App strategies, as reported by The Bangkok Post.

Despite having more than 90 funded startups, the country has yet to produce its own unicorn. Regional startups in Indonesia, Singapore, and Vietnam are getting a lot of growth because of their ability to attract the regional market and foreign investments.

ScaleUp will focus on being a “post-accelerator” by expanding the growth phase of Thai startups. It can help Thai startups to connect with international venture capital funds. Line Ventures will take a 20 percent share from the startups that already have existing products or services with a clear understanding of customers’ needs, and a solid business model that can be expandable via Line’s extensive network, leveraging on its 44 million customers in Thailand.

The selected startups will have one year of free access to Line’s messaging application programming interface. They will also receive mentoring, and coaching in areas of interest covering education, digital content/media, and e-commerce that will compliment Line’s business.

The company piloted ScaleUp last year with five selected startups. This phase will launch on 17 May, with a demo day this coming November.

Line Ventures manages three funds worth US$100 billion and has invested in 43 firms, 12 of which are in Southeast Asia. In Thailand, it has invested US$5 million in Series A with FastWork and also acquired e-commerce platform, SellSuki.

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