Ride-hailing giant Grab set to invest in Indonesia’s wealth tech firm Bareksa

Bareksa co-founder and chairman Karaniya Dharmasaputra

Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing giant Grab is set to invest in OVO-backed wealth tech firm Bareksa in its Series C round.

According to an internal email sent to Bareksa users, the announcement pertaining to the proposed transaction will be made tomorrow. The amount that Grab is investing in the Jakarta-headquartered company could not be immediately ascertained.

When contacted, Bareksa CEO Karaniya Dharmasaputra declined to share details of the funding.

Dharmasaputra also serves as the president director at Grab-backed e-wallet firm OVO.

Bareksa, established in 2016, is Indonesia’s first investment marketplace. It claims to have sold over 200 mutual funds (MF) products from 40 Indonesian asset managers through its platform so far. It has over 2 million registered users.

Besides MF products, Bareksa is also the distributor of retail government bonds – it also started offering a robot-advisory service in October 2021.

OVO picked up a stake in Bareksa in 2020. According to the latest corporate filings in Indonesia, OVO owns a 21.1% stake in PT Bareksa Portal Investasi. The holding company PT Bareksa Digital Ventura is the company’s largest shareholder, holding 61.4% stake.

As part of the investment, both platforms have an exclusive partnership and run OVO Invest together. The feature registered on the OVO platform was launched early this year – it sells MF products, targeted at OVO customers, particularly the millennial segment.

“More than 450,000 investors have taken these products. All OVO Invest products are presented in collaboration with Bareksa as a selling agent for mutual funds and some leading asset management companies,” Harumi Supit, spokesperson at OVO, told DealStreetAsia.

Grab’s investment in Bareksa will give a boost to the wealth management sector that has been bustling with activity of late, thanks to the rise in local and young investors in the market.

“The investment will help add another financial product that Grab can offer to customers on top of digital payments, small loans, insurance, and buy now pay later (BNPL) products, broadening Grab Financial Group’s product base and Grab’s super-app aspirations,” Angus Mackintosh, founder of CrossASEAN Research and Insight Provider at Smartkarma told DealStreetAsia.

According to the DATA VANTAGE report, Indonesia’s wealth tech startups raised $355 million in the first half of 2021.

In October 2021, Ribbit Capital-backed Ajaib closed a $153 million in its Series B round, led by DST Global. Meanwhile, wealth management app Moduit raised $4.5 million in its pre-Series A round, led by Singapore’s Reciprocus Moduit Holding (RMH) earlier this month. Alto Network, a Djarum Group subsidiary, also participated in the said round.

Apart from global investors, local tech unicorns are also actively backing the sector, betting big on its growth prospects in the years to come. Go-Ventures, for instance, invested in Pluang, an investment platform, and embedded it in the Gojek app earlier this year. Similarly, Bank Jago has an investment in MF investment app Bibit, while Bukalapak and Ashmore Asset Management Indonesia, together, launched BMoney app.

Mackintosh argued companies are increasingly looking at embedding wealth services in one platform to attract retail investors, drivers, and merchants – all under one umbrella.

Indonesia witnessed significant growth in the number of retail investors since the COVID-19 crisis hit the country in January 2020. According to October 2021, the regulator recorded about 6 million MF investors, growing almost 90% year-to-date (YTD). MFs comprised the largest portion of investment compared to the capital market and retail govt bonds investors.

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.