Mutual fund investment platform Bareksa has confirmed a Series B investment from Indonesian mobile payment app OVO, founder and president director Karaniya Dharmasaputra told DealStreetAsia.
OVO is a sole investor in Bareksa’s Series B deal that is said to enable a deeper strategic tie-up between the two companies.
Dharmasaputra said the Series B deal saw OVO acquire a minority stake in Bareksa. When asked whether the latest deal would be followed by OVO later hiking its holding to a majority, he said that any information on the matter would be given “at the right time”.
“Tech companies are always in talks about future development, but what is definite at the moment is that OVO is an investor in Bareksa,” he said.
“We were looking for a strategic investor. There were a few interested parties, but we decided to go with OVO because we see it as very strategic, as they have a strategic partnership with Tokopedia and Grab, so I feel this ecosystem play will really help, not only for Bareksa but also to go deeper into the market,” he said.
Launched in January 2015, Bareksa started out as a mutual funds investment portal offering news and analysis on investments and markets. In 2018, the company was chosen by the Finance Ministry to be one of only two fintech firms to take part in retail government bonds.
Having established partnerships with e-commerce giants Tokopedia and Bukalapak last year, the company claims that, as of the end of the year, its customers represent 45 per cent of Indonesia’s 1.6 million retail investors. The company’s assets under management (AUM), meanwhile, have grown almost 400 per cent from 2018 to 2019.
Dharmasaputra did not disclose the size of the investment, but said that the fresh capital from OVO was sufficient for the company’s plans to carry out “aggressive development”.
“We will also go into other verticals, including gold and online corporate bonds. We will also enhance our platform because the number of customers is increasing so we are reviewing it end to end so that the process becomes more seamless, faster and easier,” he said.
DealStreetAsia had reported in April last year that OVO had reached a deal to acquire Bareksa. Rumors of OVO’s acquisition of Bareksa was further fueled by the appointment of Karaniya as President of OVO in late 2019, following the announcement of a partnership between OVO and Bareksa.
Dharmasaputra said that the stronger strategic tie-up brought about by the investment will place Bareksa within the OVO ecosystem, which also includes e-commerce unicorn Tokopedia, understood to be an investor in OVO. A strategic partnership between e-invest, e-commerce and e-wallet is something Dharmasaputra is looking forward to establishing having been inspired by a similar strategic play in China.
“We want to learn from China’s success story where there is a synergy between e-commerce giant Alibaba, (mobile payment platform) AliPay and (money market fund) Yue’bao. If we can synchronize all of those, we will be able to replicate the success story,” he said.