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Tim Culpan

Thai Corporate VCs Are Sucking Up all the Oxygen

Big Business is stifling innovation and crowding out the nation’s entrepreneurial future.

Won’t someone think of the unicorns?

Won’t someone think of the unicorns?

Photographer: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

Thailand has a plethora of innovative startups, from artificial intelligence to agricultural technology, but their progress is stymied by a huge problem that threatens the nation’s economic development: Big Business.

Corporate-linked investors dominate the nation’s funding scene, said Charle Charoenphan, co-founder of Techsauce, a Bangkok-based startup accelerator and organizer of an annual summit bearing the same name. That’s hurting the startup ecosystem, from funding through to the founders trying to build something new and unique.