Krungsri Finnovate, the venture capital arm of Thailand’s Krungsri Bank, has announced its investment in an extended Series A round for local startup Choco CRM, which offers customer-relation management (CRM) and point of sales (POS) services.
As reported by DealStreetAsia, the undisclosed sum marks the fifth direct investment in startups, following funding for blockchain and online payment unicorn Omise, fintech firm Finnomena, proptech startup Baania and artificial intelligence (AI)-driven banking system developer Silot.
Choco CRM provides marketing tools for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to retain customers by offering personalized rewards and promotions. It also offers CRM and POS solutions for businesses, allowing them to connect with end-users through physical cards, mobile phone numbers and mobile applications.
According to Krungsri Finnovate Managing Director Sam Tanskul, the aim of the investment is to strengthen SME operators by delivering “superior financial services,” and to enable them to achieve business management efficiency and provide them with access to enhanced financial services. These include Krungsri’s information-based lending platform.
Choco founder and CEO Sirasit Suriyapattanapong said the partnership has opened up the startup’s access to the financial services market in addition to its current customers, which include restaurants, gadgets and fashion stores.
Moreover, Krungsri will also be a key driver in the development of a payment gateway for the startup’s POS users.
In September 2018, Choco secured 40 million baht (US$1.25 million) in funding from InVent, the corporate venture capital arm of INTOUCH Holdings, a Thai telecommunications company.
Narongpon Boonsonaisan, head of InVent, said his firm would spend some 100 million baht in three emerging startups working in areas including blockchain, digital lifestyle technology and tourism.
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