Indonesian fintech player Akulaku’s revenues more than double to $274m in H1

Indonesian fintech firm Akulaku looks poised to clock annual revenues of $500 million in 2021.

In the first six months of the year, the startup — which has interests in consumer finance, digital banking, and insurance brokerage services — recorded $274 million in total revenue, an increase of 153% year-on-year, according to a LinkedIn post shared by the company. It did not disclose its net profit figures.

In H1 2021, Akulaku’s total gross merchandise volume (GMV) stood at $1.9 billion, an increase of 86% from the $1 billion recorded in the same period of 2020. Meanwhile, total loan disbursements of the group doubled to nearly $1 billion in the six-month period.

The group expects GMV to reach $5.1 billion in 2021 and loan disbursement to hit $2.3 billion by end-2021.

DealStreetAsia had reported earlier this month that Akulaku is in talks to raise a $250 million Series E round ahead of its IPO in 2022.

According to the LinkedIn statement, the company is in late-stage negotiations with two major players for broadening its products and services. Currently, it has partnered with over 1,000 online and 10 offline platforms to provide the loan installment facility “Akucicil”, as a payment option when making purchases on those platforms.

Akulaku, which is backed by Ant Financial, targets to clock 23 million total users by end-2021. Its user base stood at 12 million by the end of the first half of 2021, compared with 6 million at the end of H1 2020 last year. Meanwhile, the total monthly active users reached 7 million in H1 2021, up 93% from a year ago. It expects this to rise to 12.5 million in end-2021.

Bad loans fall below pre-COVID levels

In another positive sign, bad loans on the company’s books fell in the first half of the year.

The company’s 90-day non-performing loan (NPL) ratio decreased to 5.2% of the overall loan portfolio in H1 2021. This ratio had stood at 10.6% a year ago.

The latest NPL ratio is lower than pre-COVID levels, the company noted. It attributed the decrease to improvements in its risk control measures. “Akulaku’s risk management engine continues to learn from macro- and micro-economic factors. The company experienced its first macro downturn cycle in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the LinkedIn post. 

Digital banking play

The IPO-bound company is currently seeking to raise capital to inject more funds into its digital lending unit, Bank Neo Commerce Tbk.

The lender has to increase its paid-up capital to Rp2 trillion ($140 million) by 2021 and Rp3 trillion ($210 million) by 2022, in accordance with the norms laid down by the Indonesia Financial Services Authority (OJK). As of March 2021, Bank Neo had paid-up capital of just above Rp1 trillion ($71 million).

By June 2021, the digital bank claimed to have acquired over 2.2 million new customer accounts, of which more than 85% originated outside of Akulaku’s existing user base. Meanwhile, monthly active users increased to around 2 million from less than 1,000 at the beginning of April.

Akulaku, which was founded by William Li and Gordon Hu, has raised a total of $182 million in funds between 2016 and 2018. The last funding was $68 million in a Series D round in 2019, which was led by Ant Financial. Other investors include Sequoia Capital, JANUARY Capital, Qiming Venture Partners, and ARBOR.

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.