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Hong Kong fintech unicorn WeLab is raising $ 240 million to buy an Indonesian bank

A virtual bank is coming to Indonesia soon. WeLab, a Fintech unicorn from Hong Kong, announced on Tuesday that it had acquired Jasa Jakarta (BJJ), an Indonesian commercial bank.

With the deal, WeLab plans to launch a digital bank in the second half of next year to cater to the country’s vast population with no bank account details.

A WeLab-led consortium raised $ 240 million from existing and new investors in what the company said was the largest fintech financing in Indonesia this year. The capital will be used to purchase BJJ’s shares and for “tech investments,” the company said.

The consortium called WeLab Sky, will acquire the shares of BJJ in order to become the sole majority shareholder. WeLab Sky has already acquired a 24% stake in the bank, while the remaining shares will be transferred for majority control after receiving regulatory approvals.

Supported by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing’s TOM group, WeLab opened its first digital bank in Hong Kong, a global financial center, last year. The company currently operates a range of consumer fintech products across Asia, including the virtual bank and a loan product in its hometown, as well as various types of loan services in mainland China and Indonesia. It also provides technology-based services to traditional financial institutions.

In terms of user size, WeLab claims it has collected over 150,000 digital banking customers. Its Southeast Asia online loan app, Maucash, launched through a joint venture with Astra International, has more than three million Indonesian users.

Tech companies vie for Indonesia’s tech-savvy young consumers. Some of the more notable players are Xendit, a freshly minted unicorn provides the digital payment infrastructure, Payfazz, the a mobile app for doing everyday financial tasks, and GoTo, the payment gateway under the giant GoTo.

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