This is a big round for Thailand, but it won’t be for long: Expect the country to become a huge source of e-commerce activity
Bangkok-based payments startup Omise just reeled in a major Series B funding round for the Thai market, hooking $17.5 million in financing led by Japan’s SBI Investments.
The round included infusions from Indonesia’s Sinar Mas Digital ventures, Thai-based Ascend Money and Singaporean follow-on investor Golden Gate Ventures. That brings its total haul to over $25 million.
The service interested the Japanese market last month and Singapore earlier this year with Malaysia scheduled to follow soon, according to the company’s statement on its blog (Japanese).
This also isn’t the first we have heard about Ascend Money in the last month, another Thai payments company currently valued at around $60 billion. Alibaba-backed Ant Financial announced in June it wanted a 20% stake in the new Omise investor. Indeed, Southeast Asia is seeing a boom in e-commerce startup funding, led most notably by Alibaba’s and Rocket Internet’s $1 billion backing of would-be Asian Amazon clone, Lazada.
Google and Temasek released a joint report in May that called Southeast Asia the “world’s fastest growing internet region,” translating into a $200 billion e-commerce market by 2025. Much of that is led by an extremely young population (70% under the age of 40) and a growing middle class, according to the forecast. All that being said, getting there would require “~$40-50 billion of additional investments over the next 10 years.”
Thailand was recently selected as a beta market for online purchases via Facebook brand pages, an effort being led by Singapore startup 2C2P. The news here is a sign that Bangkok might already be playing with the big boys in Singapore and Jakarta, the other major Southeast Asian fintech and e-commerce hubs, especially given what Tech in Asia‘s Terence Lee calls a ‘fragmented Southeast Asian payments landscape.’ But that might also be signs of the competition, as Amazon is investing $600 million in the region.
Omise, founded in June 2013, operates out of three locations in Bangkok, Tokyo and Jakarta. It was co-founded by CEO Jun Hasegawa and COO Ezra “Donnie” Harinsut.