Traveloka, Southeast Asia’s biggest online travel startup, is planning to list in the U.S. this year to raise funds using a special purpose acquistion company, known as SPAC, according to Chief Executive Offer Ferry Unardi.
“SPAC is very efficient in terms of timing and for a growing company like us,” Unardi told Haslinda Amin and Rishaad Salamat in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Tuesday. The company may consider an Indonesian listing at a later stage, he said.
Traveloka is said to hire JPMorgan Chase & Co. for public listing in the U.S. A listing could see it take advantage of a boom in the IPO market, which has been boosted by SPAC that use funds raised from their IPOs to buy a private company that then takes over the listing.
Investors including Expedia Group Inc., Rocket Internet SE, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte, and JD.com has helped boost Traveloka’s valuation over the years. It was valued at $3 billion in 2017, according to CB Insights.
Based in Jakarta since it was founded in 2012, Traveloka has expanded across Southeast Asia, making it easier for consumers to book flights and hotels across countries. Like its competitors, the company has since moved beyond its roots to offer a vast array of services including lifestyle and even financial services.
With the impact of the pandemic pummeling the travel industry worldwide, Traveloka was said to be close to raising funds last July at a lower valuation than its previous funding rounds. It has also cut an unspecified number of roles since the start of the outbreak, including about 80 jobs in Singapore last April.
Unardi said that Traveloka’s travel business is already back in profit amid looser restrictions.