Ascend Money, a Thailand-based homegrown fintech company, announced Wednesday that it has secured $195 million investment from Japanese lender Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG) and Thailand-based Finnoventure Private Equity Trust I Fund.

Ascend Money said in a statement that MUFG’s consolidated subsidiary, MUFG Bank, Ltd., as a lead investor, together with the Finnoventure Private Equity Trust I fund managed by Krungsri Finnovate Co., Ltd. have made the combined investment in the company.

According to the statement, this strategic investment signifies a strong commitment from both organizations to drive the growth of digital finance in Thailand.

By combining MUFG’s global financial footprint with Ascend Money’s deep local market knowledge and innovative digital financial solutions, the investment will help Ascend Money accelerate its plan to provide inclusive financial services for underserved consumers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), fostering equitable economic growth and financial well-being in Thailand.

“We are delighted to welcome MUFG’s joint investment in Ascend Money alongside existing investors C.P. Group, ANT Group, and Bow Wave Capital Management,

“This is a significant milestone for Ascend Money, which not only validates our commitment to innovation and financial inclusion in Thailand but also demonstrates a growing interest and confidence in Ascend Money’s potential,” said Suphachai Chearavanont, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Ascend Money.

He said he is confident that Ascend Money’s strong growth trajectory, combined with MUFG’s expertise and network, will enable us to create a more inclusive and vibrant financial ecosystem to accelerate both regional and local digital transformation, benefiting millions of people and contributing to the country’s economic development.

Ascend Money is a fintech arm of Charoen Pokphand Group (C.P. Group).

The company is under Ascend Group, a digital technology business conglomerate providing digital financial, e-commerce, data & cloud services.

Ascend Money became Thailand’s first fintech unicorn in 2021.

It provides payment and financial services in seven countries across Southeast Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia).

Its TrueMoney platform offers a wide range of financial solutions, including e-payment, lending, buy now pay later (BNPL), investment and insurance.

With 30 million active users in Thailand, it serves a broad customer base through an extensive network and strategic partnerships with leading corporations, businesses, and merchants in both online and offline landscapes.

This robust ecosystem positions the firm to capitalize on the growing trend of digital finance adoption in Thailand and the region.

“MUFG considers the Asia Pacific its second home market, and as part of our commitment to this region, we have been making strategic investments in leading digital finance players in the region,

“Ascend Money is a promising fintech player in Thailand with widespread penetration in the country’s consumer segment and deep understanding of their daily payments and financial requirements,” said Yasushi Itagaki, Senior Managing Corporate Executive, Head of Global Commercial Banking Business Group at MUFG.

“With this investment, we are making a significant contribution to the ongoing development of Thailand’s digital economy and financial inclusion, further underscoring MUFG’s commitment to the sustainable development of the country and the broader region as a whole,” he added.

MUFG is Japan’s premier bank, with a global network spanning around 40 countries.

The firm offers services including commercial banking, trust banking, securities, credit cards, consumer finance, asset management, and leasing.

Finnoventure Private Equity Trust I Fund is Thailand’s first startup private equity trust fund.

The fund targets ultra-high net worth individuals and institutional investors, providing unique investment opportunities in rising ASEAN startups.

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