Will Thailand’s equity crowdfunding regulation create investment?

Thailand, with its economy based on SMEs, makes a natural fit for crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is slowly gathering pace in Thailand, with platforms offering primarily reward and donation options. In an attempt to stimulate growth among start ups, SMEs and its nascent Fintech industry Thailand’s Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) published equity crowdfunding regulations in May 2015. Fintech businesses which involve financial payments and loans will be under the Bank of Thailand’s jurisdiction.

The regulations have focussed on obtaining market acceptance and promoting investor protection. Retail investors have stringent limits surround investment: they may only invest Bt 50,000 (1420 USD) per start up and no more than Bt 500,000 (14,200 USD) per year.

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Surveying Thailand’s Emerging Crowdfunding Scene

by Laura MacKay

It could easily be argued that non-digital crowdfunding has been practised in Thailand for centuries; dana or ‘giving’ is a key component of the Buddhist religion and Thai culture itself. Any early riser in Thailand will have witnessed the daily alms ritual of monks, who collect their meal for the day from Thai shopkeepers and street vendors. Thai‘s also regularly contribute to the upkeep of the numerous temples, whose golden pagodas grace the skyline of every Thai city. The landscape of Thai crowdfunding reflects this spirit of giving in the large number and success of rewards-based crowdfunding platforms such as Taejai, Dreammaker, Asiola and MeeFund. However, despite the desperate need for alternative forms of raising capital in Thailand, and the recent enactment of regulations which permit equity crowdfunding, Thailand is yet to see a registered equity-based crowdfunding platform emerge.

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Meefund’s Reward Crowdfunding Eyes Up Asia

By Tadhg Walker

Meefund came to life in September 2015. A group of Thai management and business consultants knew Fintech was more than the latest trend, and with their core competency being new business, started Meefund to capitalise on crowdfunding.

It has long proven difficult to attract funding for ventures in Thailand. Banks are unwilling to lend without collateral. Venture Capitalism has never taken off in Thailand. Meefund’s founder and Chief Hunting Officer Tony Boontanorm explains: “The government [from its Venture Capital fund] will give out money and not get a return. They put money into projects but they fund the wrong projects. They do not know how to find the innovations.”

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