Crowdfunding Asia held its second Asian conference to review the power and potential of new forms of finance.
Sponsored by the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission, the sold out event saw several hundred attendees from Thailand and surrounding countries in Asia and the United States. Thailand is a developing nation that has fostered a growing entrepreneurial class in recent years. Incorporating crowdfunding is viewed as a positive catalyst to help finance startups and SMEs.
The event saw an opening address by Thai SEC Secretary General Dr. Vorapol Socatiyanurak who lauded the importance of the new funding option. Dr. Vorapol stated, “The benefits will not fall to only business and investor side in terms of democratizing access to capital and great ideas, but also to the Thai capital market to become a regional financial connection and the country to become a value-driven economy in the near future”.
Beyond possible regulatory requirements, topics covered included best practices, market challenges, fraud, operational requirements, and local experience. While all sectors of crowdfunding were discussed most of the attention was directed towards equity crowdfunding and peer to peer lending.
The Thai startup scene has been picking up pace in recent years encouraged by a high percentage of internet connectivity and a vibrant innovation ecosystem fostered by a growing number of incubators. In fact 500 Startups recently set up a fund solely to target the Thai market – one of the first.
One of Thailand’s best known investors is the CEO and founder of OOKBEE, Moo Natavudh, which is South East Asia’s largest e-book store with over 85% of the market in Thailand. OOKBEE also has over 200 Apps in the Apple App Store and has been in the top 20 grossing Apps for Thailand for the past 50 months. Moo participated in the Crowdfunding Asia event sharing his insight into the Thai entrepreneurial scene and believes investment crowdfunding as a positive factor in boosting the ecosystem.
Crowdfunding Asia is organized by HongSin Kwek and her PhoenixICT group. HongSin launched her inaugural event in Singapore in August of 2014 and has scheduled a series of similar events across Asia for all of 2015.