Indonesian unicorn Ajaib buys 24% stake in Bank Bumi Arta for $52m

Indonesian online brokerage Ajaib, which recently entered the unicorn club, has acquired a 24% stake in PT Bank Bumi Arta Tbk for 745.67 billion rupiah ($52.23 million), according to the lender’s disclosure to the stock exchange on Friday.

Ajaib acquired about 554.4 million shares in Bank Bumi Arta, a small-asset lender, through its subsidiary PT Takjub Finansial Teknologi at 1,345 rupiah per share, the filing to the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) showed.

The deal was sealed on November 17. On the day of the transaction, Bank Bumi Arta’s shares dropped 6.9% to 3,510 rupiah per share. It had soared 24.83% on the previous day.

Ajaib bought the shares from PT Surya Husada Investment, PT Dana Graha Agung, and PT Budiman Kencana Lestari — existing shareholders of Bank Bumi Arta. Besides Ajaib, the other major shareholders in the bank are Surya Husada Investment (32.45%), Dana Graha Agung (20.07%), and Budiman Kencana Lestari (13.38%).

“Ajaib bought this bank to support its move to become an investment banking firm. The acquisition will also help Ajaib users open their securities account [which is mandatory for stock and mutual fund investments] with Bank Bumi Arta. This will also result in more savings accounts for the bank,” said an industry expert who asked not to be identified.

Ajaib had not replied to DealStreetAsia’s queries at the time of publishing this report.

The 2.5-year-old Ajaib became a unicorn in October this year after it raised $153 million in a Series B financing led by DST Global. DealStreetAsia was the first to report the funding.

The funding round was joined by Alpha JWC, Ribbit Capital, Horizons Ventures, Insignia Ventures, and SoftBank Ventures Asia. DST Global and Ribbit Capital are also significant investors in the US-based stock broking app Robinhood.

Ajaib has raised $243 million in 2021 alone.

It was modelled by its founders Anderson Sumarli and Yada Piyajomkwan along the lines of Robinhood. Ajaib targets Indonesian retail investors, mostly millennials and Gen Z users, who have little experience in stock trading and mutual fund investing. It claims to have 1.23 million user accounts.

Small banks in urgent need of capital

Many small banks in Indonesia are in need of investors who can bring in capital given the looming deadline that the Financial Services Authority (OJK) has set for banks to meet revised capitalisation norms. As per the OJK norms, announced in March 2020, commercial banks must have a minimum capital of 2 trillion rupiah ($140.36 million) by end-2021, and 3 trillion rupiah ($210.5 million) by end-2022.

Currently, Bank Bumi Arta is looking to meet the 2 trillion rupiah capital requirement to raise funds by issuing a maximum of 750 million shares in a rights issue. The rights issue is planned for Dec 13-17 and a statement from the regulator is expected on Nov 29. 

Several tech companies have been acquiring small banks in Indonesia.

The most recent was Indonesian media conglomerate Emtek that bought Bank Fama, as first reported by DealStreetAsia. Earlier this year, Sea group acquired Bank Kesejahteraan Ekonomi (Bank BKE).

Meanwhile, consumer lending company Akulaku Group holds a 31.1% stake in Bank Neo Commerce and ride-hailing giant Gojek owns a 21.4% stake in Bank Jago.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.