Technology Featured Southeast Asia

SCB TechX appoints Jonathan Sharp as its CTO

Bangkok, Thailand – SCB TechX, a joint venture between the Siam Commercial Bank (SCBX) Group and digital business transformation company Publicis Sapient, today announced the appointment of Jonathan Sharp as its chief technology officer.

Sharp will be responsible for further developing an engineering and technology unit within SCB TechX. With more than 25 years of global professional experience in engineering, architecture, consulting and transformation, Sharp has led client engagements for some of the world’s largest brands from North America, Europe and for the past 12 years across Asia Pacific.

Before joining SCB TechX, Sharp served as managing director for ASEAN at Publicis Sapient. He spent 24 years at Publicis Sapient, where he also headed technology and delivery across APAC and served in a variety of consulting and delivery capacities.

Speaking about his appointment, he said, “SCB TechX represents a new class of technology company built to help banks and financial services organisations meet customers’ expectations for sophisticated and convenient digital banking and non-banking services.” 

He added, “Combining the talent, expertise, world-class technology and cross-sector experience of the SCBX Group and Publicis Sapient, SCB TechX is poised to usher in the next generation of technological capabilities.”

Meanwhile, Trirat Suwanprateeb, CEO at SCB TechX, commented, “We are delighted to introduce Sharp as chief technology officer to lead SCB TechX’s key mission in developing and delivering new capabilities in technology, platforms and innovations.” 

He added, “We are confident that Mr. Sharp’s knowledge, experience and expertise will contribute to the company’s growth and drive SCB TechX to achieve its goal of becoming one of the largest and best-in-class fintech companies in the ASEAN region within the next 3-5 years.”

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Akulaku secures US$100m funding from Siam Commercial Bank to expand SEA reach

Jakarta, Indonesia — Akulaku, a Southeast Asian digital banking and finance platform, announced a US$100m investment from Thailand full-service bank Siam Commercial Bank.

This deal follows Akulaku’s successful funding of US$125m in 2021, co-led by Silverhorn Group as an existing investor and Akulaku’s financing partner since 2018. The company’s bank subsidiary, Bank Neo Commerce (BNC), also completed a public rights issue on the Indonesia Stock Exchange for approximately US$175m in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Founded in 2016, Akulaku has grown to become a notable Buy Now Pay Later and consumer financing platform in Indonesia, disbursing over USD$2.2b of credit in 2021 to over 6 million users. Building on that success, BNC launched its mobile digital banking services in March 2021 and has seen remarkable growth in digital bank users in Indonesia with over 13 million customers today.

Southeast Asia’s digital retail market is growing exponentially with over 80% of consumers now participating in e-commerce. Akulaku’s digital credit services aim to capitalize on this growth to further accelerate the digital transformation of retail in the region, providing a new market of consumers’ access to flexible banking services.

William Li, CEO of Akulaku, commented, “We founded Akulaku to meet the daily financial needs of underserved customers in emerging markets. Our recent round of funding will allow us to continue that vision by further expanding the geographic reach of our offerings across Southeast Asia and enable us to continue introducing new innovations to serve our customers.”

Dr Arak Sutivong, president of Siam Commercial Bank, said, “This investment in Akulaku marks our continued commitment and strong belief in the long-term prospects of Indonesia as one of the fastest-growing digital economies in the region. Akulaku has a dominant market position and is well-positioned with its innovative technology and superior product offerings. We are excited about the investment in the company and look forward to leveraging our deep expertise in Thailand’s financial services sector to support its expansion. The investment in Akulaku fits within our regional thesis of serving the underserved market using digital innovations. We look forward to partnering with Akulaku as the company continues to grow.”