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Source: Thailand Startup News  Aug 04, 2019

Project KATALYST Launched By Kasikorn Bank To Assist Local Thai Startups.

Project KATALYST Launched By Kasikorn Bank To Assist Local Thai Startups.
Source: Thailand Startup News  Aug 04, 2019
Kbank has announced the launch of project KATALYST  to assist Thai startup firms determined to grow their business in line with KBank’s strategies. The initiative aims for business co-creation via information sharing, provision of consultancy and support by KBank’s various departments and partners which will be conducive for a startup’s business growth.  

Ms. Kattiya Indaravijaya, KBank President (centre) at Katalysts Launch
(Photo Credit: KBank)

KBank noted  that most millennials these days want to start their own business as seen from the proliferation of startup firms. Though there are lots of creative innovations, more than 95 percent of these startups will not be able to survive and succeed. As more new startups have joined the fray, competition has become so intense and normally it is only those that have formed partnerships with larger corporations are able to grow and branch out to new markets.  
As a result of seeing a need for startups to have a ‘mentor’ cum partner that can help them,
KBank initiated the KATALYST project to help startups with determination to grow and having business guidelines in line with the strategies of KBank and its customers, as well as KBank partners.
The collaboration marks a mutually symbiotic starting point to upgrade Thailand’s startup business.  The KATALYST project can be comparable to a mentor who is ready to give advice to start-ups in various fields, including business models, an application of knowledge and technology and advice on business expansion both at home and abroad. Startups will have a chance to work with KBank’s work units, K Companies, KBank partners and Beacon Venture Capital which will provide investment funding to propel Thai startups toward success. Beacon VC is KBank’s venture capital arm. This project will be another channel for Beacon VC to find seed funding for new startups Beacon VC has already invested in seven companies, namely FlowAccount, Ookbee, Eventpop, Grab, InstaReM, Jitta and Horganice. Beacon VC expects to invest in 2-3 startups per year from the KATALYST project in the future. 
Most startups tend to have common problems in terms of business management like lack of marketing skills, lack of funding and a qualified team and face strong competition from their competitors. Most struggle to manage operational costs and do not have the right products or services to cater to the markets that need them. The KATALYST project is ready to give advice to startups about these issues to ensure that they provide goods and services that respond to demand of KBank’s customers. The project will support startups with determination to grow further and is not limited to any particular industry type.  Aspiring startups can seek specific advice from experts from KBank and other organizations. 
Startups participating in the KATALYST project will get an opportunity to make a campaign with KBank, which has a customer base of over 14.5 million customers. In addition, they will have a chance to expand their business bases abroad via KVision Co., Ltd., which has been established by KBank as a holding company to invest in startups and explore innovation at a regional level. They will also have an opportunity to find payment solutions and experiment new technologies invented by KBank and KASIKORN-BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY GROUP (KBTG), namely FastPay solution, FlowAccount, which is a cloud-based accounting platforms. These startups will also receive legal advice from experts at Baker McKenzie .

As of 2019, there are more than 600 Thai startups have registered with the Government’s National Innovation Agency (NIA). In 2017, 31 startups received USD106.10 million in venture capital investment, compared to 35 startups with USD61.25 million in venture capital investment in 2018. The trend indicates a slowdown, which is attributed to the fact that the growth of Thai startups fails to catch up with the market expectations.  KBank hopes that the KATALYST will help develop and strengthen the potential of startups to enable them to attract both domestic and international funding and propel Thai startups to the regional or the global scene.