Editor’s note: updated with responses from Traveloka

Indonesia’s travel unicorn Traveloka is said to have halted talks to go public through a deal with Bridgetown Holdings Ltd, a blank check company backed by billionaires Peter Thiel and Richard Li, Bloomberg reported on Monday, quoting people familiar with the matter.

The people reportedly said the board of directors of Traveloka has decided not to pursue a listing via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) now as the enthusiasm in the SPAC market has waned.

Instead, the Southeast Asian online travel company will likely explore going public via a traditional initial public offering (IPO) in the US market, according to the report.

Traveloka, however, may revisit talks with Bridgetown or a different SPAC if the market recovers.

When contacted, Traveloka said it remains committed to going public and the company continues to consider the different options available.

“Taking the company public is a natural evolution given Traveloka’s position as a category leader and aspirations to grow the business further. We remain committed to this goal and continue to consider the different options available. At the same time, we continue to be well-capitalized and are focused on choosing a path and timing that is in the best interests of the company and its stakeholders,” Traveloka Head of Corporate Communications Reza Amirul Juniarshah told TechNode Global in an email. 

Over the past year, SPACs have been one of the hottest trends of global markets. Of the $461 billion raised globally through IPOs this year, about $131 billion went to SPACs before the booming market came to a near-standstill, according to Bloomberg.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has stepped up its scrutiny of them this year after the fundraising surge. More transparency around their financial structure has been called.

Traveloka had been in talks with Bridgetown since around April as it sought funds for growth to expand its geographic reach as well as the range of its services, Bloomberg News has reported. The deal could have valued the company at about $5 billion.

Traveloka is said to be in talks with potential investors to raise as much as $400 million as part of its plan to go public through a merger with Bridgetown, Bloomberg reported in August.

The merger is set to value the combined entity at about $5 billion, the sources said then.

Featured image credits: Traveloka

Indonesia’s Traveloka in talks to raise up to $400M for SPAC deal – report