Grab-backed Indonesian payment startup OVO said to acquire MF platform Bareksa

Photo: Ovo

Indonesian mobile payment startup OVO has sealed a deal to acquire mutual fund investment platform Bareksa, DEALSTREETASIA has learnt.

According to an executive familiar with the development, the deal is worth in excess of $20 million.

An OVO spokesperson declined to comment while a query to Bareksa went unanswered.

Signs of a potential deal between the two companies were apparent last month when OVO announced a partnership agreement with Bareksa and two other fintech startups, Do-It and Taralite – a company OVO has reportedly acquired, though not yet officially announced.

Through the partnership with Bareksa, OVO said it would enable its users to access mutual fund investment directly through the OVO app.

By acquiring Bareksa, OVO will be able to tap deeper into Indonesia’s mutual funds investment market which has seen considerable growth in the country in the past year. Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority (OJK) has recorded Rp 493.65 trillion in the mutual fund industry as of August 2018, which is a a 21.4 per cent increase from Rp 406.55 trillion in August the previous year.

One of the factors driving the industry, the OJK said, is the online sales of mutual funds offered by Bareksa and its peers, which includes VC-backed startups Tanamduit and Ajaib.

Unlike its competitors, Bareksa is not known to have received any venture capital funding. The company, whose services include financial data to online tools to news and analysis on investment and market, raised capital in 2017 through a rights issue purchase by Gemilang Dana Sentosa, a backer of e-payment provider Doku, giving the investor 20% ownership of the platform.

In an exclusive interaction early in 2018, the company said it was in talks with several foreign and local investors for a new funding round, expected to be closed before the end of the year. However, it is understood that all fundraising talks were halted following OVO’s acquisition offer.

The deal with Bareksa counts as OVO’s second acquisition in the space of just three months after the Lippo-affiliated company had reportedly acquired Taralite in February. It marks the latest move in an aggressive streak by OVO this year, which has also seen it participate in the $27.5 Series B funding round of micro retail tech startup Warung Pintar.

The ambitious growth and expansion strategy demonstrated by OVO comes on the back of reported investments in the company by regional giants Grab and Tokopedia. As first reported by us last month, Tokopedia became a stakeholder in OVO following the acquisition of less than 20 per cent stake in OVO, subscribing to fresh equity shares of the payment company.

This followed an undisclosed investment from the region’s largest ride-hailing startup Grab last year. The deal was followed by the appointment of the then GrabPay managing director Jason Thompson as the new CEO of OVO.

It is understood from sources that the investment made by both Tokopedia and Grab was into Bumi Cakrawala Perkasa, or BCP, the company behind OVO and part of Lippo Group. The deal with Tokopedia is said to have valued OVO at over $1 billion, making it Indonesia’s fifth unicorn after GOJEK, Traveloka, Tokopedia and Bukalapak.

Prior to their respective deals with OVO, both Grab and Tokopedia had signed partnership agreements with OVO to integrate its payment platform into their respective services after struggling to obtain licenses for their own e-wallets.

OVO, which is a direct and stern competitor to GOJEK’s Go-Pay, claims to be the largest digital payments platform in the country with 1 billion transactions recorded in 2018, a 75x increase in transaction volume. The top three transactions conducted on OVO pertain to transport, retail and e-commerce.

Also Read:

Indonesia investment platform Bareksa targets to close second funding round this year

Tokopedia said to acquire double-digit stake in payment startup OVO

Indonesian state firms said to pool $80m capital to launch Go-Pay, OVO competitor

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.