Golden Gate Ventures | Venture Capital for Southeast Asia

Thai ICO unicorn Omise raises funding in Global Brain-led round

Thailand-based blockchain and online payment startup Omise on Thursday announced raising an undisclosed financing round led by Japanese venture capital firm Global Brain.

The round was joined by Mitsui Fudosan’s corporate venture arm, 31VENTURES, and existing backer Indonesian VC firm Sinar Mas Digital Ventures (SMDV).

Omise said the investors will help it penetrate Japan, Southeast Asia and other high-growth markets.

“This undisclosed funding not only brings in additional financial support, but more importantly, connectivity with strategic partners to strengthen the reach of the financial infrastructure currently in the development phase by entities under Omise Holdings — Omise payments, OmiseGO and GO.Exchange,” noted a company statement.

Founded in 2013, the fintech startup last raised an undisclosed Series B+ round led by Krungsri Finnovate, the CVC arm of Krungsri Bank (Bank of Ayudhya) in September 2017. It secured a $17.5-million Series B round led by SBI Asset Management in 2016, besides raising $25 million through an initial coin offering (ICO) for building an ethereum-based payment network last July. Its market cap crossed $1 billion in August last year, nudging it into unicorn territory.

Omise and Global Brain have partnered with each other on several ongoing foundational projects including the Ethereum Community Fund and a blockchain-focused co-working space, Neutrino. The fintech startup said both parties will continue to progress on these projects.

In December last year, Global Brain and Omise also announced that they will set up a new blockchain-focused fund.

Global Brain started dabbling in the blockchain space three years ago, eventually launching a separate arm, GB Blockchain Labs Corporation (GBBL), last year. The VC, which manages assets worth approximately $1 billion, has invested in blockchain startups such as and Bluzelle.

Last year, Global Brain closed its $180-million sixth fund, its largest since its inception in 2001. The fund, which is currently investing, backs companies offering Internet of Things (IoT), hardware, enterprise, robotics, education and commerce solutions.

Ka Kay Lum