Tanyapong Thamavaranukupt, Co-President of Ascend Money

Courtesy Ascend Money

Money go up-supported by Charoen Pokphand groupwho is controlled by Thailand’s richest man Dhanin Chearavanont and his family – said Monday they raised $ 150 million from new and existing investors, bringing the valuation to $ 1.5 billion.

In this latest round of financing, US investment firm Bow Wave Capital Management has joined existing investors CP Group and the Ant Group of Alibaba Group, Bangkok-based Ascend Money said in a statement.

“The disruptive effects of the pandemic have accelerated the growth of the digital economy across Southeast Asia,” Itai Lemberger, founder and chief investment officer of Bow Wave Capital Management, said in a statement. “We are proud to support Ascend Money as it pursues its mission to drive financial inclusion for sustainable growth in the region.”

The company plans to use the new funds to grow the user base of its TrueMoney Wallet e-wallet app by expanding into services such as digital lending, digital investing and cross-border money transfers across Southeast Asia.

“The company is expanding the platform and services to improve the accessibility, affordability and impact of financial services.” Suphachai Chearavanont, founder and chairman of Ascend Money, said in a statement. “In short, Ascend Money provides a financial platform with opportunities for the financially marginalized as well as SMEs in the region.”

Supachai – Dhanin’s youngest son – is the CEO of the CP Group. Dhanin and his three brothers get their wealth mainly from the CP Group, one of the world’s largest producers of animal feed and livestock. Her father Chia Ek Chor and his brother Choncharoen Chiaravanont started the business in 1921 as a shop selling seeds imported from China to Thai farmers. Today, CP Group also owns 7-11 stores across Thailand, has a controlling interest in wireless operator True Corp, and owns equity interests in real estate.

BANGKOK, THAILAND – 1998/08/01: Khun Supachai Chearavanont – son of billionaire Dhanin … [+] Chearavanont – founded Ascend Money in 2013.

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Dhanin, 82, was Chairman and CEO of CP Group for 48 years until he stepped down in 2017. He and his siblings had net worth of $ 30.2 billion as of the list Thailand’s 50 richest was released in July.

Supachai founded Ascend Money in 2013 as a business unit of the Ascend Group, a spin-off from True Corp., one of Thailand’s leading telecommunications providers. The Ascend Group now operates as a subsidiary of the CP Group.

Ascend Group operates TrueMoney, a digital payments platform that serves more than 50 million users in Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. At the height of the pandemic last year, the company processed $ 14 billion in payments.

“Ascend Money is driving the cashless society and adoption of financial services across the region through the TrueMoney Wallet application,” said Tanyapong Thamavaranukupt, co-president of Ascend Money, in a statement. “The company has also expanded its portfolio to include a full range of digital financial services, including digital lending, digital saving and digital investment.”