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Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya, in which MUFG has a 76.9 percent ownership, has contributed $41 million to the Asia-Pacific crypto trading platform Zipmex.
The newest investment round for the Asia-Pacific-focused crypto exchange Zipmex was led by Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya (BAY), in which Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) has a 76.9 percent share.
The $41 million raise, which saw the participation of two publicly traded Thai media firms and overseas VC funds in addition to BAY, accounts for the lion’s share of Zipmex’s total $52 million in funds raised to date.
BAY’s corporate venture capital arm, Krungsri Finnovate, invests in startups across various fintech areas, including blockchain, lending, e-commerce and cross-border remittance. Commenting on the news of the Zipmex raise, its managing director today stressed to Reuters that “if we don’t stay close, technology will be further away from the bank.”
The objective for the exchange is to use the new funding to quadruple its current user base to one million in the next six months. Zipmex is now the only permitted digital assets platform in Thailand, and it also works under regulatory supervision in Indonesia and Australia, as well as having a registered regulatory exemption in Singapore. It is apparently asking for a Major Payment Institution licence with Singapore’s de facto central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, which would allow it to provide digital payment token services in the city-state, among other things.
At present, the Singapore-headquartered exchange conducts roughly half its business in Thailand, a fifth in Indonesia and the rest in Singapore and Australia, according to CEO Marcus Lim.
The exchange also plans to grow its technical and compliance teams in order to launch new digital asset solutions in lending, payments, and securities. It now provides exchange users with two earnings accounts, one flexible and one fixed-term, and facilitates cryptocurrency spending through a collaboration with Visa, with ambitions to create its own crypto card later this year.
In Thailand, Zipmex recently collaborated with the country’s largest movie theatre operator, Major Cineplex Group, and lo digital payment startup RapidZ to allow select moviegoers to purchase tickets using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC).