Asia-Pacific digital asset exchange Zipmex has plans to further expand into Australia after raising US$41 million in a series B funding round.

Krungsri Finnovate, the venture capital arm of the Bank of Ayudhya, led the capital raising. It’s Thailand’s fifth-largest bank, majority-owned by Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG). Krungsri Finnovate’s portfolio includes other fintechs including Grab, Flash Express, Synqa and Finnomena.

“Incredible result for the whole Zipmex team,” Zipmex manager for Australia, Nathan Halliday, commented on Linkedin. “Fantastic to see such a major financial bank have this level of trust in what we are building. This is just the start!”

Thailand media companies Plan B Media and Master Ad have also invested in Zipmex as part of the fundraising round, along with Hong Kong-based MindWorks Capital and US-based Jump Capital.

Based in Thailand and Singapore, Zipmex was founded three years ago by UNSW graduate Marcus Lim, who said the “commitment from Krungsri Finnovate is a huge step forward for us.

“It represents not only the validation of our business model and approach to innovation, but also of the potential for digital assets to become a core part of our lifestyle.”

The platform has seen over US$4 billion in gross transaction volume since its 2019 launch and has recently made a major push into Australia, opening a Sydney headquarters this year and giving away three Bitcoin to Aussie users.

Zipmex says it is the only legally compliant crypto exchange operating concurrently in Australia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.

The company’s executive team includes other UNSW alumni, including chief commercial officer Jonathan Low, chief product officer Ken Tabuki and chief technology office James Tippett.

Zipmex has its own ecosystem token, ZMT, that offers users high-interest savings accounts.

It also expects to roll out its “ZipWorld” platform for lifestyle products and “Z Launch” platform for new investment tokens to Aussie users soon.

Apollo hits $100m in AUM

As crypto-assets rebound from the May crash, Melbourne-based crypto investment firm Apollo Capital has crossed the $100 million mark in assets under management.

Managing director Tim Johnston called it a “major milestone in Apollo’s journey”.

The firm had previously crossed the nine-figure threshold a few times intra month, but this was the first time its month-ending net asset value exceeded $100 million.

Johnston said that part of Apollo’s growth came from the popularity of its market neutral opportunities fund that targets 20 to 40 per cent annual returns through yield farming stable crypto assets.

Chief investment officer Henrik Andersson said the firm would continue with its primary investment thesis of blockchain, DeFi assets and market neutral strategies.

“We believe the next wave of activity in DeFi will occur in the on-chain derivatives space in which we have long positions in,” he said. “We look forward to what the market has to bring over the next six months!”

(Stockhead partners with Apollo for the weekly “Apollo’s Moonshots” column).