Akulaku Obtains Strategic Investment of 1.4 Trillion Rupiah from Siam Commercial Bank
Akulaku announced the acquisition of a strategic investment of $100 million or more than IDR1.4 trillion from Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), a leading commercial bank in Thailand.
This agreement follows the successful funding that Akulaku received of $125 million last year led by Akulaku’s previous investor Silverhorn Group, which has also been a financing partner since 2018.
Akulaku’s subsidiary, Bank Neo Commerce (BNC), also completed a public offering of public rights on the Indonesia Stock Exchange with a value of approximately $175 million (more than IDR 2.5 trillion) in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Reportedly, the funding that Akulaku received was the closing of the pre-IPO fundraising through the SPAC channel. The company will be listed on the stock exchange in 2022.
In an official statement, Akulaku CEO William Li said, the fresh funds allowed the company to continue its vision of expanding the geographic reach of its products and services throughout Southeast Asia and continue to innovate.
“We established Akulaku to meet the daily financial needs of underserved customers in emerging markets,” Li said, Tuesday (15/2).
President of Siam Commercial Bank Dr. Arak Sutivong said this investment step taken by SCB marks its continued commitment and strong belief in Indonesia’s long-term prospects as one of the fastest-growing digital economies in the region.
He sees Akulaku as having a dominant market position and well-positioned with its innovative technology and superior product offerings.
“We’re excited about investing in this company and look forward to leveraging our deep expertise in Thailand’s financial services sector to support the expansion. We look forward to partnering with Akulaku as the company grows,” said Sutivong.
Investments in Akulaku fit within SCB’s regional theses to serve underserved markets using digital innovation.
Has Disbursed Credit To 6 Million Customers
Founded in 2016, Akulaku has grown into a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) and consumer finance platform in Indonesia, claiming to have disbursed more than $2.2 billion in credit by 2021 to more than 6 million users. Akulaku’s service coverage is not only in Indonesia, but also in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
Building on this success, BNC launched its mobile digital banking service in March 2021, and is now the fastest-growing digital bank in Indonesia with more than 13 million users today.
The company also has another financial subsidiary group engaged in lending, namely Assetku which operates in Indonesia, and a similar BNPL service that is present in Europe called Wisecart.
With more than 80% of consumers now participating in e-commerce, Southeast Asia’s digital retail market is growing exponentially.
Digital credit service provided by Akulalu is poised to further accelerate the digital transformation of retail in Southeast Asia, providing new markets for consumers with access to flexible banking services.
Akulaku itself is said to have achieved unicorn status since 2019 with a valuation of more than $1.1 billion, according to a report compiled by Credit Suisse entitled “ASEAN Unicorn, Scaling the New Height”. The company itself has not disclosed this status to the public until now.
BNPL Has Accelerated Since The Pandemic
A special report on the paylater ecosystem in Indonesia released by DSInnovate stated that paylater became the second favorite service in 2020 (72.5%) or slightly below digital wallet platforms which had recognition of 82.2%.
On the other hand, the positive trend of e-commerce which is increasingly accelerated by the pandemic has also triggered the high adaptation of paylater products in the community. B
Not without reason, research released by ResearchAndMarkets at the end of 2020 yesterday stated that the predicted growth in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) which will reach US$8.5 billion in 2028 is estimated to help boost paylater facilities by approximately 76.7% annually.
Likewise, the latest research released by Kredivo and the Katadata Insight Center entitled “Consumer Behavior of E-Commerce Indonesia 2021”, also shows an increase in paylater users, namely there are 55% new users who use the Kredivo paylater feature.