Indonesian state lender BRI to invest $20m in LinkAja operator

Photo by Bank Rakyat Indonesia

Indonesia’s state-controlled lender BRI is planning to invest Rp 300 billion ($20 million) in Fintek Karya Nusantara (Finarya), which operates mobile payment platform LinkAja, a BRI executive said on Wednesday.

LinkAja is an integrated e-wallet service, which manages the existing payment app of the country’s largest telco firm Telkomsel, and three other state-controlled lenders, Bank Mandiri, BNI, and BRI.

BRI will inject the fund in Finarya through its own investment arm, BRI Ventures.

“We will hold 19 per cent stake in Finarya,” BRI president director Suprajarto told reporters at the general shareholders meeting on Wednesday.

Suprajarto said that State-owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno expects other state-owned companies to join and own stakes in Finarya, especially transportation-focused firms such as Kereta Api Indonesia or KAI, Damri, and Jasamarga.

DEALSTREETASIA recently reported that BRI set up a VC firm through the acquisition of venture capital firm Bahana Artha Ventura, wherein the lender was being assisted by experts from MDI Ventures, a CVC affiliated with state-owned firm Telkom Indonesia. BRI obtained a business license from the country’s Financial Services Authority (OJK) last month.

BRI Ventures is the third VC firm to be set up and operated by state-owned companies in Indonesia. The others are Telkom Indonesia (MDI Ventures) and Bank Mandiri-owned Mandiri Capital Indonesia.

Currently, another state-controlled lender BNI is also planning to enter the VC space by establishing a venture capital firm, which is slated to launch this June.

“Venture capital will help our future investments in many fintech startups and also fulfil our corporate actions plan,” BNI deputy president director Herry Sidarta told DEALSTREETASIA.

LinkAja currently has around 40 million users. It competes with services such as Go-Pay, operated by ride-hailing platform GOJEK, and OVO, a Lippo-backed e-wallet service.

E-wallets such as GO-PAY and OVO have been installed in millions of mobile devices in the country and can be used to pay for almost everything, including food delivery, insurance, ride services, e-commerce transactions, and electricity bills.

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.