SE Asian travel app Traveloka weighs public listing including SPAC option

Traveloka, Southeast Asia’s largest online travel app, said on Monday it was looking to go public soon and was evaluating a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) as a possible stock-market listing option.

SPACs are shell companies that use proceeds from going public to buy another company, not yet identified at the time of listing. The resulting merger with the target company, often a start-up in a high-growth sector, offers it a faster and lower cost way to market than a traditional initial public offering (IPO).

“A SPAC is one of the options we are evaluating given we have been approached by a few,” Traveloka president Henry Hendrawan said in a statement in response to a Reuters query.

Bankers have also said Jakarta-based Traveloka is among a handful of Southeast Asian companies that have been approached or are targets of SPACs.

A source with knowledge of the matter said Traveloka is still deciding between an IPO or a SPAC and eying a valuation of $5-6 billion. Traveloka declined to comment.

Hendrawan told Reuters in late 2019 that Traveloka would consider a possible dual listing in Jakarta and another centre such as the United States.

The eight-year-old Indonesian startup, which claims more than 60 million downloads and has expanded into financial services, announced in July it had raised $250 million in its latest funding round.

After an earlier battering as Southeast Asian countries closed borders and imposed strict lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic, Traveloka is benefitting from an uptick in domestic tourism as governments in Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore encourage residents to explore their own countries.

“Traveloka will be profitable by 2021,” East Ventures managing partner and longtime backer Willson Cuaca told Reuters earlier in December.

Hendrawan also told media in October he was expecting Traveloka to potentially be profitable by 2021.

Other investors include Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and U.S. online travel player Expedia.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

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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. 
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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.