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Indonesia-based multifinance startup Akulaku is eyeing offshore financing

Next year, the firm plans to expand its lending services in an effort to become a “super lending” platform.

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Indonesia-based online multifinance company Akulaku said that it wants to raise funding through an offshore loans scheme, Daily Social reported.

The new loan will be used to help the company reach its disbursement target of IDR 6 trillion (USD 428.7 million) next year. Akulaku’s financial director Efrinal Sinaga said that this is the first time the company has sought offshore financing. The investors will likely come from Hong Kong although the company declined to reveal more details.

Sinaga said that this type of funding has a similar concept to conventional bank loans with tenures and interest fees, although offshore financing offers more competitive pricing than securing bank loans.

Akulaku was founded by Chinese entrepreneur Li Wenbo in 2016. It lets users purchase consumer goods and pay for them in instalments. Akulaku also operates its own online marketplace, on which it offers gadgets, mostly smartphones, via its pay-later mechanism.

Based on KrASIA’s recent reader survey, Akulaku beat Gojek and Grab as the most interesting company in Southeast Asia.

The company has raised a total of USD 160 million in over seven funding rounds, according to Crunchbase. In January 2019, the firm bagged USD 40 million by Ant Financial in its Series D round. Chinese fintech company Finup, Qiming Ventures Partners, and Arbor Ventures are also investors of Akulaku.

Going forward, Akulaku wants to be a “super lender” platform that offers various peer-to-peer lending products. It recently launched a vehicle financing service, and it plans to expand its services into productive loans that target online merchants and micro, small, and medium enterprises in the first quarter of 2019.

According to Sinaga, there are about 120,000 merchants on Akulaku’s platform, which translates to a huge potential for this segment. Not only will Akulaku provide the loans for merchants on its platform, but the company will also partner with several e-commerce sites such as Bukalapak, Shopee, and Blibli. Moreover, the firm is also eyeing the sharia fintech segment.