BAAC to back farming-related startups

Asia's Tech News Daily

Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) will invest in promising startups in the farming sector, especially those which have boosted farmers' income, said the bank's executive vice-president Narong Khuntiviriyakul.

He said that the bank would act as a venture capital company to finance the promising startups. It will buy a share not exceeding 49% of these companies. The investment period would be from a minimum of three years up to 10 years.

The bank has already selected two startups, Qbox Point Co and Infuse Co, in which it will invest. The investment was approved by the Finance Ministry and the cabinet, Mr Narong added.

Qbox Point Co proposed BAAC buy an 11.1% stake at a cost of 15 million baht.

Qbox’s current Farmbook digital platform helps farmers manage their production, especially organic produce, in relation with market demand. It links farmers with retail channels, such as department stores, restaurants and hotels.

Its system can trace back the entire production process to ensure consumers’ confidence in food quality and safety. This is to enable good product sales and generate more income for the farmers.

The bank expects the Qbox platform to draw in around 1,300 groups of farmers as members during its partnership period and generate 1.2 billion baht in income for the platform members.

Infuse’s Malisorn app enables farmers to ask insurance companies for compensation after damage to their produce from natural disasters.

Infuse proposed a 19.5% share sale to BAAC at a cost of 7 million baht.

Mr Narong said that the bank is ready to provide similar support to other promising startups which have good business plans and have capitalised on technology to boost farmers’ production capacity. He said these kinds of startups will play a key role in upgrading farmers’ quality of life in the future.

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