The latest fundraising round for the Asia-Pacific-focused crypto exchange Zipmex included Thailand's Bank of Ayudhya (BAY), in which Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) owns a 76.9% stake.
In addition to BAY, two publicly traded Thai news organizations and offshore venture capital (VC) funds participated in the $41 million round, accounting for the majority of Zipmex's total $52 million in cash raised to date.
Krungsri Finnovate, BAY's corporate venture capital arm, invests in startups in a variety of fintech industries, including blockchain, lending, e-commerce, and cross-border remittance. On Tuesday, in response to the news of the Zipmex hike, the company's managing director told Reuters that "if we don't stay close, technology will be further away from the bank."
The exchange aims to use the new funds to more than double its current user base in the next six months, bringing it to one million. Zipmex, Thailand's sole digital asset marketplace, is regulated in Indonesia and Australia and has a certified regulatory exemption in Singapore. It is said to be in the process of filing to Singapore's de facto central bank for a Major Payment Institution licence, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, which would allowing it to provide digital payment tokens and other services in the city-state.
The Singapore-based exchange presently conducts roughly half of its business in Thailand, a fifth in Indonesia, and the rest in Singapore and Australia, according to CEO Marcus Lim.
In order to launch new digital asset lending, payments, and securities products, the exchange also plans to expand its technical and compliance teams. It presently provides exchange users two earning accounts, one flexible and the other fixed-term, as well as the ability to spend cryptocurrency via a Visa connection, with plans to launch its own crypto card later this year.
In Thailand, Zipmex has collaborated with Major Cineplex Group, the country's largest movie theatre operator, and digital payment company RapidZ to allow some moviegoers to purchase tickets using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC).
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