Startups and Tech Scene in Thailand

How Tech Startups and Entrepreneurs are Revolutionizing Thailand

Are you intrigued by the thought of experiencing life in a bustling startup and tech scene? If so, Thailand is the right place for you! A prominent leader in Southeast Asia for technological advancements that range from coworking spaces to accelerators, Thailand has become a well-known hub for entrepreneurship and innovation.

Whether you are looking to invest in high-quality startups or resourceful companies, Thai entrepreneurs have created valuable networks filled with great products and inspiring ideas. With an increasing number of investments being made within the nation’s digital ecosystem, there’s no doubt that Bangkok is becoming a force to be reckoned with when it comes to technology-driven business models.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the journey leading up to this growth as well as delve into what are considered today’s biggest opportunities presented by successful businesses operating out of Thailand’s tech scene. Get ready – your next big adventure awaits!

Thailand’s startup ecosystem has been growing rapidly in recent years, driven by government initiatives, increased investment, and a growing pool of talented entrepreneurs.

Key Takeaways

  • Thailand’s tech and startup scene has undergone a significant transformation, with a combination of government support, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit driving its growth.
  • Despite challenges like infrastructure and funding, there’s immense potential in the Thai market, with several sectors like E-commerce and FinTech leading the way.
  • The future is promising for Thailand’s tech landscape, with opportunities not only for local entrepreneurs but also for foreign investors and businesses looking to tap into the ASEAN region.
Startups and Tech Scene in Thailand

Startups and Tech Scene in Thailand: A Journey Through Time

Thailand has seen rapid growth in the tech and startup sectors over recent years. With both historical accolades and contemporary milestones, the booming tech landscape has positioned the country as an emerging hub for innovation in Southeast Asia. This engaging examination of Thailand’s tech scene offers unique insights into its journey from the past to the present, with a focus on the last decade’s transformative changes.

Historical Perspective

Modern advancements can be traced back to the government’s efforts to keep up with global competition and invest in digital infrastructure since the late 20th century. Thailand kickstarted these endeavors with the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), established in 1991. The organization aimed to drive innovation, research, and development through key collaborations between academia, industry, and government. Meanwhile, the establishment of the National Information Technology Committee (NITC) in 1992 signaled Thailand’s readiness to integrate digital technologies into daily life.

During the early 2000s, the government recognized the need to embrace the digital age and launched the ICT 2020 policy framework, focusing on strengthening information and communication technology to bolster the economy. However, the real boom in the Thai tech and startup scene began in the early 2010s, as investors, entrepreneurs, and the government worked collectively to create an ecosystem conducive to growth.

Tech and Startup Scene in the Last Decade

The past decade has been transformative for Thailand’s tech and startup landscape. The introduction of the ‘Digital Economy Promotion Agency’ and the ‘Digital Economy and Society Ministry’ marked the government’s commitment to a digital-first approach in legislation and development. Further, sector-specific programs such as Thailand 4.0 and the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project highlighted key industries like agriculture, health, and automotive for targeted investments.

Several dedicated incubators and accelerators like HUBBA, TechGrind, and dtac Accelerate have emerged, nurturing innovative startups and offering them resources, knowledge, and funding opportunities.

The government’s efforts alongside the private sector have significantly increased the ease of doing business and attracted both local and international investments. Thailand also witnessed an upsurge in funding because of increased investor interest from tech giants like, Tencent, and Alibaba.

Major Players and Game Changers in the Past

Throughout the growth of the tech and startup community, several standout successes have permeated the Thai market:

  1. Line: The popular messaging app Line expanded its services in Thailand, stepping into eCommerce, taxi-hailing, and mobile payments. With over 43 million users, Thailand is Line’s second-biggest market, further solidifying it as a major tech player in the country since 2014.
  2. Grab: The ride-hailing giant and super app, Grab, made its entry into Thailand in 2013, transforming the country’s transportation system. It also launched its food delivery and e-payment platform GrabPay, providing an expanded array of services to Thai customers.
  3. Omise: This Bangkok-based online payment gateway, founded in 2013, quickly garnered the attention of businesses and users. It ensured secure and frictionless experiences with digital transactions, which gained even more prominence amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
  4. Agoda: Headquartered in Bangkok, Agoda has been an online travel booking pioneer since its launch in 2003. Over the years, the company has expanded its service to international markets and contributed to the growth of e-tourism in Thailand.

Thailand’s startup and tech sector has grown exponentially over the years, supported by proactive government initiatives, a vibrant ecosystem, and the combined efforts of businesses, investors, and innovators. As the country continues to leverage digital advancements, Thailand is poised to harbor an even more promising and dynamic future for its tech and startup scene.

Current Landscape of Thailand’s Tech and Startup Scene

Thailand’s tech and startup ecosystem exhibits a vibrant blend of innovation, embracing digital advancements across multifarious sectors. The country is buzzing with dynamic tech hubs, coworking spaces, a gamut of thriving sectors, and an array of groundbreaking startups.

Overview of the Prominent Tech Hubs and Co-working Spaces

Recent years have seen a rise in dedicated venues for startups in Thailand, with these tech hubs and co-working spaces becoming the heart of the industry.

HUBBA is the pioneer of coworking spaces in Thailand, providing not only workspaces for startups but also running events, workshops, and startup-related programs. Their inclusion in the Google for Entrepreneurs network extends their reach globally.

True Digital Park, Southeast Asia’s largest hi-tech and lifestyle campus, has made a mark by offering a one-shop-stop for startup needs: coworking space, innovation labs, startup accelerators, venture capital firms, and multinational corporate innovation outposts, all under the same roof.

Launchpad, another key player, provides coworking spaces along with a selection of courses aimed at helping startups grow. They also host vibrant community events, strengthening Thailand’s startup network further.

These and other spaces like Draft Board, Glowfish Workspaces, etc., come together to signify a proactive atmosphere, fostering knowledge sharing, collaboration, and innovation.

Key Sectors: E-commerce, FinTech, HealthTech, AgriTech

Thailand’s tech scene enjoys a diverse range of active sectors:

E-Commerce has ridden the wave of digital advancement and increased internet penetration. Thailand’s e-commerce market is expected to reach $13 billion in 2025, up from $3 billion in 2018, supported by the growing trend of online shopping and digital payments.

FinTech is thriving, with startups like Omise offering online payment gateways, and Rabbit Line Pay combining messaging with mobile payment, transforming Thailand’s financial service landscape.

HealthTech In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, health tech startups like Ooca and Doctor Raksa, providing online therapy and telemedicine services, respectively, have seen a significant rise.

AgriTech is a burgeoning field, with the Thailand 4.0 initiative backing this sector. Startups like Freshket simplify agriculture supply chain operations by linking food processors and restaurants directly with farmers.

Success Stories: Notable Startups and Their Achievements

Thailand’s thriving startup ecosystem has given rise to numerous success stories.

aCommerce: Established in 2013, aCommerce is an end-to-end e-commerce enabler that provides various services like marketing, logistics, and tech solutions across Southeast Asia. The company has successfully raised $118 million in funding rounds.

Pomelo: A Bangkok-based online fashion retailer, Pomelo became a regional sensation after raising $52 million in a series C funding round, making it one of Southeast Asia’s most-funded fashion startups.

GET: Originating from Gojek’s success and technology, GET provided ride-hailing, food delivery, logistics, and more. Even though it ended operations in 2020, it marked crucial step in expanding ride-hailing and everyday services to Thailand driven by technology.

Sunday: This insurtech startup uses artificial intelligence to provide personalized insurance products. Securing $10 million in Series A funding and with its expanding portfolio, Sunday is an exciting player in the tech scene.

These success stories showcase the immense potential and growing prowess of Thailand’s startup ecosystem. Underpinned by a synthesis of government support, private sector investment, and a vibrant entrepreneurial community, Thailand’s tech and startup landscape stands as a beacon of innovation in the Southeast Asia region.

Government and Institutional Support in Thailand’s Tech Scene

In the ongoing efforts to digitize Thailand’s economy and consolidate its position as a regional tech and startup hub, the government and various institutions have made remarkable strides. From implementing favorable policies to launching incubators, accelerators, and venture funds, their support has been instrumental to the burgeoning ecosystem.

Policies Promoting Tech and Startups

Several initiatives and policies have been enforced to fuel and sustain the growth of the startup and tech landscape in Thailand:

  1. Smart Visa Program: The Thai government launched the Smart Visa Program to attract professionals and entrepreneurs from overseas. This new type of work permit allows them to stay longer and eases the process of contributing their expertise to the tech and startups sectors.
  2. National Innovation Agency (NIA): The NIA was established with the mission to drive innovation across all sectors. They’ve significantly impacted the startup ecosystem by optimizing the environment for startup establishment, growth, and expansion.
  3. Thailand 4.0: A nationwide policy designed to evolve Thailand’s economy beyond heavy industry and towards innovation. The core objective is to develop areas like automation, artificial intelligence, and robust digital infrastructure.
  4. Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA): The goal of DEPA is to promote and support digital technology development, including those driving startup growth.

Incubators, Accelerators, and Venture Funds

Beyond policy, the establishment of several incubators, accelerators, and venture funds has further propelled the success of Thai startups:

  1. Bangkok Bank InnoHub: This is a 12-week program helping startups partner with Bangkok Bank. These partnerships provide startups unique access to the bank’s expansive resources and vast portfolios of capital.
  2. dtac Accelerate: Operated by mobile operator dtac, the accelerator program helps Thai startups grow faster. They also get access to international business coaches and connections to global tech companies.
  3. AddVentures by SCG: AddVentures by SCG is a corporate venture capital fund that acts as a bridge connecting startups and SCG’s vast business networks, both domestically and internationally.
  4. Beacon VC: Beacon VC is a corporate venture capital fund of Kasikorn Bank (KBank) focusing on strategic investments in fintech and lifestyle startups.
  5. TechGrind: The first private tech incubator and accelerator in Thailand. TechGrind hosts startup events, hackathons, workshops, and demo days to support tech startups.
  6. StormBreaker Venture: A Seed to Series A venture capital fund that focuses on strong Southeast Asia startups looking to expand internationally.

The dynamic interplay of progressive policies, financial backing, and facilitative infrastructure backed by institutional support has significantly fueled Thailand’s thriving tech scene. The determined, collective push provides promising prospects for startups in the nation, securing its position as a predominant technological and entrepreneurial player in Southeast Asia.

Challenges and Opportunities

Challenges and Opportunities in Thailand’s Tech and Startup Landscape

Like many emerging markets, Thailand’s tech and startup ecosystem experiences unique challenges and opportunities. The journey to creating a thriving environment for tech innovation and entrepreneurship comprises a blend of difficulties and favorable prospects.


Despite the burgeoning growth in the Thai tech landscape, challenges persist in areas such as infrastructure, funding, and talent sourcing.


Thailand lacks a comprehensive digital framework, with rural and urban areas experiencing uneven access to technology. Unequal digital infrastructure constrains the potential expansion of tech-based startups, with many Thai citizens unable to engage fully with digital services.


While there has been a noticeable increase in funding opportunities, local startups still face competition for funds. Limited availability of high-value funds and notable investors, coupled with a relatively small venture capital market, makes it challenging for startups to secure sizable investments.


Talent acquisition is another hurdle for Thai startups. There is a skills gap as the demand for highly skilled professionals, particularly in areas like software engineering and data science, exceeds the available talent pool. Further to this, the conservative mindset and risk-averse attitude of potential employees stand in the way of recruiting exceptional candidates, with many opting for well-established companies over startups.


Despite the challenges, Thailand’s tech scene brims with opportunities, both in the local market and across the ASEAN region.

Growing Middle Class

Thailand’s expanding middle class and increased purchasing power present an attractive market for consumer-focused startups. These new demographics can leverage technology to fulfill their demands for enhanced goods and services, ranging from on-demand delivery to personalized healthcare.

Digital Economy Transformation

Thailand is going through a digital transformation with its government committing to its Thailand 4.0 initiative, promoting investment and innovation across key sectors. This presents opportunities for startups to capitalize on technological advancements and positively contribute to the country’s economic growth.

Regional Integration

As a member of the ASEAN community, Thailand has the potential to explore partnership opportunities with neighbor countries, tapping into a market of over 660 million people. This integration can present business collaborations and synergies across regions, fostering technology adoption and supporting new market entries for Thai startups.

Although the challenges faced by Thai tech startups reveal the distance left to cover, the abundant opportunities bolster an optimistic outlook. The combination of a supportive government and regional integration, amongst other factors, sets the stage for a plethora of openings and growth prospects. A considered approach to addressing challenges and capitalizing on opportunities can continue to fuel the ascendancy of Thailand’s tech and startup ecosystem, propelling it towards a brighter, more connected future.

Looking Forward: The Future of Thailand’s Tech Scene

Thailand’s tech and startup scene continues to stake out an exciting path forward. With its zealous drive to become a digital innovation hub, the future holds promising prospects. Here’s a look at potential trends and innovative technologies on the horizon for the next decade in Thailand.

Predictions for the Next Decade

  1. Increased Foreign Investment: Thailands’s thriving tech environment is anticipated to entice an influx of foreign investments, allured by a strengthening digital ecosystem and progressive governmental policies like Thailand 4.0.
  2. Consolidation and Growth: The next decade will likely observe numerous mergers, acquisitions, and consolidations within the Thai startup ecosystem, leading to more resilient, comprehensive, and evolved entities capable of meeting market demands effectively.
  3. Sustainability-focused Innovation: Given the increasing global focus on the environment, sustainable technology innovations will gain traction. Startups focusing on clean energy, waste management, and smart agriculture technology will experience increased growth and investment.
  4. Technological Infrastructure Development: Investment in digital infrastructure would improve, following advancements in areas such as 5G communication technology, cloud computing, and data center expansion.
  5. Rise of Deep Tech: Over time, Deep Tech (AI, machine learning, robotics, etc.) is expected to be increasingly adopted, with startups integrating these advancements into their solutions, thereby pushing the frontier of what’s possible technologically.

Innovations on the Horizon

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning: From eCommerce recommendations, FinTech credit score analytics, to HealthTech diagnostics, AI and ML are projected to revolutionize how startups operate and deliver value to customers.
  2. Blockchain Technology: With a strong potential for leveraging in various sectors like finance, logistics, and supply chain, the implementation of blockchain technology is likely to garner greater attention.
  3. Internet of Things (IoT): IoT promises tremendous potential in sectors like agriculture (smart farming), healthcare (remote patient monitoring, smart hospitals), and Smart City initiatives, fostering cost-efficient, responsive solutions.
  4. Virtual/Augmented Reality: Given its broad applications across gaming, entertainment, real estate, and education sectors, VR and AR technologies are expected to become more prevalent in Thailand’s tech landscape.
  5. HealthTech Innovation: In the wake of COVID-19, startups offering next-generation healthcare solutions like telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, and digital health records would likely emerge as essential components of healthcare delivery.

Thailand’s tech scene presents an optimistic vision of a dynamic, innovative landscape enriched by exotic technologies and driven by the desire for digital transformation. While the journey will surely be punctuated by challenges and obstacles, the untapped potential and ever-increasing opportunities signal a bright future for Thailand’s technological advancement.

Startups and Tech Scene in Thailand

Startups and Tech Scene in Thailand FAQs

How does Thailand’s tech scene compare to other ASEAN countries?

Thailand’s tech scene is rapidly developing and has been gaining significant traction over the past few years, positioning it as one of the leading tech ecosystems in Southeast Asia. It ranks third among ASEAN countries according to the World Economic Forum’s Network Readiness Index 2020, with Singapore and Malaysia claiming first and second place respectively.

What opportunities exist for foreign investors in Thailand’s tech sector?

Foreign investors can tap into Thailand’s thriving tech startup industry by investing in promising startups, participating in incubator and accelerator programs, or even setting up their own tech companies. The supportive governmental policies and initiatives like Thailand 4.0 make it an ideal environment for foreign investments.

How is the Thai government supporting the growth of the tech sector?

The Thai government has implemented various programs and policies to support the growth of the tech sector, such as Thailand 4.0, which aims to transform the country into a digital economy through investments in infrastructure, research and development, and human capital development. Additionally, there are tax incentives for startups and initiatives to foster collaborations between local and foreign companies.

Are there specific tech hubs or co-working spaces popular in Thailand?

Yes, there are several tech hubs and co-working spaces that have become popular in Thailand, such as Techsauce Global Summit, Startup Thailand, True Digital Park, and Hubba. These spaces offer opportunities for networking, collaboration, and access to resources for startups and entrepreneurs.

Is English widely spoken in Thailand’s tech scene?

Yes, English is commonly used in Thailand’s tech scene, especially in business and networking settings. However, knowledge of basic Thai can be beneficial for navigating local operations and building relationships with Thai colleagues and partners. So, it is recommended to learn some basic phrases before entering the tech scene in Thailand.

What predictions can be made for Thailand’s tech future in the next decade?

The future of country’s tech startup scene promising, with continued growth and innovation expected. The government’s focus on digital transformation and investments in technological infrastructure will likely attract more foreign investments and propel the development of startups in emerging sectors like AI, blockchain, IoT, VR/AR, and HealthTech.


Thailand’s tech and startup scenes are evolving rapidly, and the value of investing is paying off tenfold. With more investments comes more opportunities, both for those already invested in the country and those looking to capitalize on the many ASEAN business prospects. As the industry grows, so does the potential for others looking to join in. Whether you’re a local entrepreneur investing in your home country or a foreign investor looking to get some leverage on ASEAN trade, there’s something out there for you.

While challenges like infrastructure and funding remain issues, it’s clear that Thailand has established its reputability as an investment destination with many possibilities. To stay up to date with all things related to startups and venture capital in Thailand, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter or reach out to us with any questions. Investing early definitely pays off!

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