Earlier this year Thailand-based Omise held a $25 million ICO to develop a next-generation decentralized payment network, and now the company has closed an undisclosed investment from Thai bank Krungsri (Bank of Ayudhya).
Omise has raised over $20 million in VC money — the ICO was for its Omise Go (OMG) division — but this new financing is strategic in nature. The deal itself isn’t likely to be huge — Krungsri’s new fund is $30 million in total, while Omise is sitting on significant digital funds after its token appreciated beyond $1 billion market cap — but the investment is significant because the bank is part of the wider Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), which is valued around $19 billion and present in 50 countries worldwide.
MUFG, itself Japan’s largest bank, is an interesting tie-in with OMG. It has run a series of crypto trials including use of the blockchain and creation of its own digital token. It is also part of the The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, a group founded by Fortune 500 companies to explore the potential of Ethereum.
This investment in Omise is likely to see the two sides working together in some capacity. That’s going to initially mean the core Omise business, which is a payment enabler akin to Stripe for Southeast Asia and Japan, but further down the line it may include OMG once the payment network is up and running. An initial product is due to be released before the end of this year, but more developed solutions for retailers, banks and other enterprises won’t be available until next year.
“We’re excited to leverage our new partners and this capital to continue to build our OMG platform, which we believe will facilitate the future of open payments and value exchange, and scale our operations into countries across the Asia Pacific region,” Omise CEO Jun Hasegawa told TechCrunch in a statement.
Besides its ICO, Omise has also been active on M&A after it picked up online payment business Paysbuy from Thailand-based operator DTAC. It said the new unit would bolster the core Omise business and help build out OMG.