This is one of the largest seed rounds in Southeast Asia, the company said
Bangkok-based corporate accelerator RISE has raised US$8 million in seed funding for expansion, the startup announced in a statement on April 8.
Thai conglomerate Metro Company Limited, Japanese digital marketing and advertising company D2C Inc., and Thai security tech company Chanwanich Company Limited were some of the lead investors in the round.
RISE works with corporates and government agencies as a corporate accelerator and venture builder, in addition to an intrapreneur university and experiential conference.
The funding will go specifically towards developing RISE’s tech-enabled corporate innovation platform that will enable the startup to scale outside Thailand, in Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
Dr. Kid Parchariyanon, CEO and Co-founder of RISE, said in the statement, “We are a Southeast-Asian-born company with a global vision to disrupt corporates’ R&D and training landscape with the market size of USD 50 billion.”
RISE aims to do this by banking on their success in Thailand, and localizing service portfolios for each market, Parchariyanon added.
The 2016-founded startup has built a network of over 400 corporates, 2000 startups and 20,000 “corporate innovators” worldwide through its corporate innovation efforts, the statement said.
“Digital transformation is an important step for our company group. We see RISE supporting us in driving our internal innovation… [and] exploring our business growth potential, through its global network of innovation and experiences in transforming many leading organizations in Southeast Asia,” said Wantana Thongthai, Chairman of the Board at Metro Company Limited, in the statement.
The statement noted that RISE is the first Thai company to receive financial grants from government agencies of three countries–Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa), Enterprise Singapore (ESG), and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).
Some of its clients include pan-Asian life insurance company AIA Group Limited, Exxon, Toyota, Thailand’s Provincial Electricity Authority, Visa, and Thai mobile phone provider DTAC amongst others.
Last year, RISE expanded operations into Singapore via a partnership with Enterprise Singapore, a government agency that supports small and medium enterprises in Singapore. As a partner of Enterprise Singapore’s Startup SG Accelerator, RISE helped participating startups enter the Thai market.
The partnership also announced Rise.AI, a corporate artificial intelligence accelerator program that connected 30 AI startups worldwide to Southeast Asian markets.
Rise also has a partnership with Krungsri Finnovate, corporate venture capital arm of Thailand’s fifth largest bank Krungsri. Called Krungsri RISE, the accelerator programme provides mentorship opportunities with industry veterans, and a $30 million fund earmarked to finance startups over the course of three years, as of 2018.