On January 10, 2020, Bangkok-based fintech company Lightnet announced that it had received Series A funding and raised $ 31.2 million in new funding. After completing this round of financing, Lightnet became the first blockchain company in Asia to receive financial support from six large enterprise groups, providing access to services for millions of Asian users seeking to improve financial liquidity. This is also the largest financing of the blockchain industry so far in the new year of 2020.
Lightnet was co-founded by Chatchaval Jiaravanon, a family member of Thailand's Charoen Pokphand, and Tridbodi Arunanondchai, a serial technology entrepreneur and former investment banker.
This round of financing was led by Singapore's UOB Risk Management Department, Seven Bank, Uni-President Asset Holdings, HashKey Capital, Hopeshine Ventures, Signum Capital, Du Capital and Hanwha Investment and Securities. The newly raised funds will be used to strengthen Lightnet's investment in the underlying blockchain technology on the Stellar Network and build a next-generation financial mobile network.
Chatchaval Jiaravanon, Chairman of Lightnet said, "We launched Lightnet, which provides low-cost, instant financial inclusion and mobility to the 4 billion people in the Asia Pacific region, all of which are powered by Stellar's fast, scalable and sustainable blockchain technology provide support."
Lightnet's goal is to disrupt the trillion-dollar global remittance market, starting with the millions of unbanked migrant workers who rely on outdated, expensive and fragmented services in major Southeast Asian markets. For Lightnet's smart contracts and distributed ledgers, this $ 150 billion service market has matured and can now replace decades of inefficient SWIFT systems and unreliable underground banking.
Lightnet Vice Chairman Tridbodi Arunanondchai said,
"It is critical that we build an ecosystem to provide Lightnet access to our partners’ broad user base and facilitate their deeper penetration into the local market. We expect Lightnet to lead through our industry within three years Partner network facilitates more than $ 50 billion in annual transactions. "
The major investors, UOB Risk Management Corporation and Hanwha Investment Securities, represent Singapore and South Korea's two largest financial groups, respectively. In addition, Seven & I Holdings Co. Ltd.'s group company Seven Bank (TKO: 8410) owns all 7-11 stores in Japan and approximately 69,200 convenience stores worldwide. Uni-President Asset Holdings is the investment arm of Uni-President Enterprises Corp., which also has more than 9,000 7-11 and Starbucks in Taiwan, China and the Philippines. Hashkey Capital is the investment arm of China Automotive and Finance Group Wanxiang Group.
Lightnet CEO Suvicha Sudchai said,
"Lightnet offers three innovative solutions, BridgeNet, LiquidNet and SmartNet. The main platforms have been completed and the first transaction is scheduled for the first quarter of 2020. In addition to the potential 500,000 cash agents in our entire ecosystem, Lightnet It will also integrate with several well-known payment and remittance partners, including MoneyGram, Seven Bank, Yeahka, Ksher, etc. from Japan, South Korea and several other Southeast Asian countries to ensure successful activation of our ecosystem. "
By leveraging the comprehensive strength of blockchain technology, local market insights, pan-Asian partnerships, and its proprietary ecosystem, Lightnet has accelerated the large-scale adoption of blockchain technology, providing many people with accessible and efficient finance service.
Lightnet is a Thai-based fintech company established with the purpose of promoting the financial liquidity and inclusiveness of Asians without and without bank accounts through blockchain technology. By connecting the existing financial system to its vast network of non-bank agent and fiat trading networks, the startup aims to increase the efficiency, convenience and affordability of traditional remittance and payment systems.
Lightnet was co-founded by members of the Chia Tai Group, a leading Asian conglomerate, and Interstellar. Using the leading Stellar blockchain network to develop the future of financial services, Lightnet seeks to become a global leader in the next generation of financial services.