Forward, a Thai digital asset and blockchain startup focusing on protocol development for decentralized derivative exchange and DeFi platform, has successfully closed its USD 5 million seed round within just 6 months of fundraising, despite severe economic uncertainty and high volatility in the digital asset landscape.
The round was led by RPVAF-1, a global VC fund under Primestreet Capital, with participation from
- Beacon Venture Capital from Kasikornbank;
- KASIKORN X from Kasikornbank;
- Krungsri Finnovate from Bank of Ayudhya, a member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG); and
together with Ratanakorn Technology Group, GBV Capital and Varys Capital who have confirmed their investments earlier in this round.
Chanon Charatsuttikul, Co-founder and CEO of Forward, revealed that Forward is the world’s first DeFi project to receive investments from global funds and two major Thai banks. “I believe that there is hope for Thailand to become a center of innovation and technology. We have investors who are ready to support new talents. The closing of this seed round, for me, is the beginning of a big challenge for the team to maximize our potential and grow the organization, and help make Thailand stand out as a country of innovation, just like western countries.
“The majority of trading volume occurs at Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, and it mainly comes from derivative products. The trading volume of derivative products is approximately 3 times larger than the spot volume and it is still growing. Thus, Forward is focusing on developing a decentralized derivative platform, which is non-custodial with a system that prohibits transactions from sanctioned countries and addresses. We have a strong team backed by PhDs working day and night to develop a newly invented protocol, called the Automated Position Hedger (APH), which is unlike anything seen before. In addition, we always take it very seriously in terms of legal issues, accounting standards, and the safety of the investors’ assets,” Chanon added.
Asst. Prof. Dr. Udomsak Rakwongwan, Co-founder and Advisor, added that “We aim to develop Forward to be a ‘One Stop Service’ protocol, solving limitation and pain points in DeFi economy. It will be a secure and easy-to-use platform where users can earn sustainable investment returns. This means that the return generated to investors is a result of a solid and sustainable business model that was carefully designed for long-term operation. Our user-friendly interface will reduce the barrier to onboard new users to the blockchain space. For every single line of our coding, smart contract technical auditing is required and it will be performed by at least 2 trusted auditors.”
Supavat Nam Cholvanich, Co-founder and Partner of PrimeStreet Capital, the lead investor of this round, said: “With our finance background, we have a good interest in financial-related blockchain technology. Digital asset is a high volatility landscape, and we highly emphasize the importance of safety and sustainability of the protocol. Our team focus deeply on the tightness of all operating logic and, at the same time, look for a platform with meaningful enhanced features that has the potential to stand out and elevate DeFi ecosystem. We believe Forward is well set up and its DeFi platform should easily navigate through market volatility and grow sustainably in the digital asset world.”
Forward is a digital asset and blockchain startup, founded by a group of developers and tech researchers. The founders’ prior success was the launch of a well-known regulated crypto exchange in Thailand. Forward is currently developing a newly invented protocol for decentralized derivative trading, where short and long positions are matched against each other using an advanced protocol named Automated Position Hedger (APH). Forward DDEX acts as a counterparty to instantly match users’ long and short perpetual Futures orders. As a result, Forward does not have limit order books and does not require market makers. The risk of the platform acting as a users’ counter-party is completely hedged using the tokens in the lending and borrowing pools.