Despite the problems caused by the resurgence of Covid-19 throughout Thailand, Beacon VC had a busy and productive first half of 2021. Beacon has invested in three new portfolio companies, and has added the KATALYST team to the Beacon VC family to help build and support the Thai startup ecosystem during this difficult time. Beacon also congratulates two of our portfolio companies on their successful fundraising rounds, as well as Grab, which is in the process of going public.
Portfolio Review: New Investments
Carro – Beacon joined the $360M Series C round in new automative marketplace unicorn Carro. Carro provides a platform for buying and selling used cars, and leverages AI technology to transform and digitize the car buying and selling experience.
Builk – Beacon led the Series B round for Builk, Thailand’s leading construction tech startup. Builk provides business management software and an online construction materials trading platform to construction companies of all sizes.
FoodStory – In May, Beacon led the Series B round for FoodStory. FoodStory offers a wide array of restaurant solutions which help restaurant owners better understand, manage, and optimize their businesses.
As the corporate venture arm of KBank, Beacon aims to support collaborations between all three of our new portfolio companies with KBank in order to digitize, modernize, and provide better financial services to these industries.
Portfolio Review: Fundraising Updates
This past year, two of Beacon’s portfolio companies have successfully raised new rounds. Nium became Southeast Asia’s first B2B payments unicorn following a $200M Series D. Thai accounting platform FlowAccount has also recently raised a $4M Series A round led by Sequoia Capital India. FlowAccount was Beacon’s first ever direct investment in 2017.
Further, Grab announced its plans to enter the public market via a SPAC merger with Altimeter Growth Corp which will value Grab at roughly $39.6B, and is expected to occur in the latter half of this year. Grab is the first of Beacon’s portfolio companies to enter the public market.
Beacon News and Updates: KATALYST
This year, Beacon would like to introduce the KATALYST team to the greater startup community in Thailand and Southeast Asia. KATALYST focuses on three main areas: ecosystem building, embedded payments and services, and strategic collaboration.
Despite the on-going pandemic, KATALYST and Beacon have continued to hold events for the community, such as KATALYST Talk with Brad Paisan and KATALYST Talk with EventPop and Penguin Eat Shabu, and to support Beacon’s portfolio companies and Katalyst partners with webinars on key topics like “ESOP Structure Analysis.”
KATALYST is also running the KATALYST E-Learning Program for the second year. This 9-week Technology and Innovation Entrepreneurship Program by the Stanford Thailand Research Consortium aims to apply a fundamental and hands-on teaching method to help tech startups take their ideas to market and scale their businesses. This year, 65 teams have been selected to join the program.
Beacon News and Updates: Research
In the first half of the year, the Beacon team has done a great deal of research on new trends and financial technology in our capacity as the CVC arm of KBank. We publish quarterly to share our research for the benefit of the startup community and Thai ecosystem. Our latest reports include blockchain finance, banking-as-a-service and data-as-a-service, and SPACs.