Funding Possibilities for Start-ups in Thailand

Funding Possibilities for Start-ups in Thailand

Launching your own start-up requires more than a leap of faith. According to Quartz Media, a study of 200 failed start-ups revealed that two of the top four reasons for failure had to do with start-ups running out of cash or lacking funding.

Funding Possibilities for Start-ups in Thailand

While all that glitters is not gold, Thailand just might be the saving grace for start-up owners struggling with finances.
 
Just last year, nine Thai start-ups received at least US$1 million in funding. This year, the Stock Exchange of Thailand is planning to set up a new exchange for listing start-ups in the latter half of the year.
 
The funding opportunities don’t end there. Here are more ways Thailand’s economy can aid thriving start-ups and passionate entrepreneurs.
 
 
VCs and international funding aplenty
 
In 2013, Venture Partner at Ardent Capital, Matt Walters, noted that venture capital in Thailand was “in a very nascent stage”. By 2016, there were over 60 VCs and corporations invested in Thailand's start-ups. In just over four years, investments for start-ups have catapulted and the number of start-ups have increased as well.
 
In fact, co-founder of Techsauce, Amarit Charoenphan, describes Thailand as having many hidden unicorns and undervalued ventures that deserve funding, and investors are starting to pick up on this. Today, there are five major VC firms based in Bangkok alone, not to mention six international firms actively funding Thai businesses.
 
The availability of opportunities and funding is reflective of the blooming start-up ecosystem in Thailand, definitely something for budding businessmen to take note of.
 
Tax-free incentives from BOI
 
Start-ups in Thailand can benefit from tax-free incentives from Thailand’s Board of Investments (BOI). A start-up owner needs only to apply for an investment promotion in order to enjoy incentives.
 
When successfully obtained, a business owner may enjoy various tax incentives including a 50-per-cent reduction of corporate income tax, additional 25-per-cent deduction of installation or construction costs and much more.
 
The only drawback? Foreign business owners are required to comply with Thailand’s Foreign Business Laws which imposes restrictions on the type of businesses that foreigners can be involved in. Nevertheless, once registered, the Invest Promotion Act applies to all start-ups and business owners in Thailand.
 
The paperwork is worth it.
 
 
Government aid and support
 
Thailand has been readily nurturing their start-up ecosystem and has, in recent years, provided the support and funding needed to grow start-ups.
 
Just last year, the Thai government reportedly launched a US$570-million venture fund for Thai start-ups. Additionally, Thailand’s Ministry of ICT established a US$285 million Digital Economy Fund specifically to support technologically based start-ups. And it gets better. Another US$284.73 million was put in place to fund start-ups in the healthcare, finance, agriculture, tourism and digital technology industries by Thailand’s Ministry of Finance.

While Thailand does have strict laws that limit foreign start-ups, it is clear that the government is giving start-ups the confidence boost they need. Thailand’s start-up ecosystem is now a strong competitor within Southeast Asia and judging by the amount of government aid and support, it is clear that the start-up ecosystem will continue to thrive.

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