Indonesian fintech startup Akulaku is in advanced talks to raise a US$100 million Series D round, according to people familiar with the matter. Potential backers include Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Financial, which will be joining the round as a strategic investor.
Jakarta-based Akulaku was founded in 2014 by two Chinese entrepreneurs who used to work at the Ping An insurance group before deciding to build a venture outside of China. It initially started as an online virtual credit card provider before branching out to operate its own e-commerce platform selling 3C products among other items. Its platform also offers a wide range of virtual payment services, from phone and mobile game top-up to water and cable bills. The company also rode the recent wave of Indonesian online lending boom to become one of the largest local players of online financial services.
Akulaku now also has a presence in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia.
The deal, if pushes through, will bring the firm’s total funding to US$220 million. In last October it raised a $70 million Series C from a group of investors including Sequoia India, China’s Qiming Ventures and Australian Blue Sky Private Equity. The firm’s seed round in 2014 came from IDG capital, co-founder and CEO William Li once said in an interview.
The new deal, which will be seeing Alibaba onboarding through Ant Financial, is likely to deepen ties between Akulaku and Alibaba’s assets – especially the e-commerce ones – in Indonesia and across the region, people familiar with the matter told KrASIA.
Southeast Asia has been on the front lines of Alibaba’s overseas push as the Chinese e-commerce behemoth is relentlessly growing its international footprint. In terms of online shopping, Alibaba invested into Lazada and Tokopedia. For mobile wallets, the company has also ramped up its presence by investing into local players or forming joint ventures, such as Dana in Indonesia, GCash in the Philippines, TrueMoney in Thailand, as well as TnGD in Malaysia.
We have reached out to both companies for comments.
Editor: Ben Jiang and Nadine Freischlad