In the most recent investment round for the Asia-Pacific-focused crypto exchange Zipmex, Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya (BAY) in which Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) owns a 76.9% share took part.
In addition to BAY, two publicly traded Thai media companies and offshore VC funds participated in the $41 million fundraising, accounting for the majority of Zipmex’s total $52 million in funding raised to date.
Krungsri Finnovate, BAY’s corporate venture capital arm, invests in businesses in a variety of fintech industries, including blockchain, lending, e-commerce, and cross-border remittance.
“If we don’t stay close, technology will be further away from the bank,” Zipmex’s managing director told Reuters today in response to the news of the hike.
The objective for the exchange is to use the new funds to double its current user base in the next six months, bringing it to one million.
Zipmex is the only digital asset platform licensed in Thailand, and it is regulated in Indonesia and Australia. It also has a certified regulatory exemption in Singapore.
It is said to be in the process of filing for a Major Payment Institution license from Singapore’s de facto central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, which would allow it to provide digital payment token services and other services in the city-state.
According to CEO Marcus Lim, the Singapore-based exchange currently conducts around half of its business in Thailand, a fifth in Indonesia, and the rest in Singapore and Australia.
The exchange also plans to grow its technical and compliance teams in order to launch new digital asset lending, payments, and securities products.
It presently provides exchange users with two earning accounts, one flexible and the other fixed-term, and it allows crypto spending through a Visa connection, with plans to create its own crypto card later this year.
In Thailand, Zipmex recently collaborated with Major Cineplex Group, the country’s largest movie theatre operator, and lo digital payment startup RapidZ to allow select moviegoers to purchase tickets using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC).