On Tuesday, Hong Kong-based fintech unicorn WeLab announced the acquisition of Bank Jasa Jarkata (BJJ), an Indonesian commercial bank. The announcement comes after the company raised $240 million in funding from both new and old investors.
WeLab’s aim with the acquisition is to launch a digital bank, as it wants to leverage the country’s large population of unbanked people. The fintech has scheduled the launch of its imminent digital bank for the second half of 2022 and the acquisition of Bank Jasa Jarkata (BJJ) is a major step towards that goal.
According to WeLab, the $240 million which it raised was the largest funding round in Indonesia this year. The company revealed that the capital would be used to fuel the acquisition of Bank Jasa Jarkata’s (BJJ) stakes and tech investments. A consortium that WeLab led raised the funds which was used in acquiring Bank Jasa Jarkata (BJJ). This consortium is called WeLab Sky and will acquire the bank’s stakes to become its only controlling shareholder. Currently, WeLab Sky has already purchased a 24% stake in the bank, while the remaining shares for majority control will be transferred upon securing regulatory approvals.
WeLab which has the backing of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing’s TOM Group launched its first digital bank in Hong Kong last year. It is currently operating a variety of fintech products across Asia and is well-established in China and Hong Kong and wants to take over the Indonesian market. The fintech startup also provides traditional financial institutions with some financial services.
According to the company, WeLab has more than 150,000 digital banking customers and its online lending platform called Maucash available in Southeast Asia and launched in collaboration with Astra International has over three million users from Indonesia.