WeLab, a Hong Kong-based fintech platform, announced Monday the completion of the acquisition of an Indonesian commercial bank, PT Bank Jasa Jakarta (BJJ), together with PT Astra International Tbk (Astra), one of Indonesia’s largest public companies.

The completion is marked by the issuance of acquisition approval by the Financial Services Authority (OJK), WeLab said in a statement.

For this transaction, a WeLab-led consortium, Welab Sky Limited (WeLab Sky), participated in the acquisition together with Astra’s subsidiary PT Sedaya Multi Investama (Astra Financial).

The WeLab-led consortium has drawn wide-spread support from existing and new investors, including Allianz X, Boyu Capital, Horizons Ventures, SCBX Group[1] and TFB (Taipei Fubon Bank) Capital.

In December 2021, WeLab entered into a share purchase and subscription agreement with the shareholders of BJJ, and completed a strategic investment for 24 percent of BJJ.

With the acquisition completed on Monday, WeLab and Astra each holds 49.56 percent of BJJ shares, becoming the majority shareholders and joint controllers of the bank.

The transaction is Southeast Asia’s largest digital bank merger and acquisition (M&A) transaction in 2022, illustrating the substantial commitment to invest in, and contribute to digitizing Indonesia’s banking industry.

The shareholders aim to transform BJJ into an innovative digital bank in Indonesia.

“Expanding WeLab’s digital banking presence across Asia, first in Hong Kong and now in Indonesia, has been one of our key strategic moves. This partnership with Astra reinforces WeLab’s strategic focus on enhancing cross-country and business synergies with partners to increase scale and reach, in order to further strengthen the breadth and depth of the existing pan-Asian fintech platform,

“We’re excited that our long-term partner, Astra will be collaborating with us to deliver the best tech-driven banking services through BJJ in Indonesia. We look forward to bolstering the customer trust level with the collaboration with Astra,” said Simon Loong, Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer of WeLab.

Meanwhile, Astra President Director Djony Bunarto Tjondro said, investment in BJJ is in line with Astra aspirations in financial services pillars to become leading retail financial providers in Indonesia and support the growth of financial services industry as well as the economy of Indonesia.

WeLab and Astra are long time partners in Indonesia’s fintech ecosystem. This is WeLab’s second strategic partnership initiative with Astra since the formation of a fintech lending joint venture, PT Astra WeLab Digital Arta (AWDA), in 2018.

The complementary strengths of the partners, including WeLab’s know-how and technology in building and being an operator in digital banking, together with Astra’s solid business ecosystem and experience as well as vast distribution network, are highly synergistic and key success factors to propel BJJ’s digital transformation and into an innovative digital bank to serve the digital financial needs of Indonesians with accessible and innovative banking solutions.

According to the statement, the prospect of digital banking in Indonesia is currently on the rise and represents a huge opportunity to provide accessible and innovative digital banking solutions, especially to the retail and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) segments.

The utilization of financial services in Indonesia has the potential to grow, as 77 percent of Indonesia’s 270-million-population is either underbanked or unbanked. The country also has a sizable population of 180 million tech-savvy younger consumers, representing a great demand for digital banking services.

WeLab, a leading pan-Asian fintech platform, operates WeLab Bank as well as multiple online financial services with leading positions in Hong Kong, China, and Indonesia, with more than 50 million individual users and over 700 enterprise customers.

WeLab uses game-changing technology to help customers access credit, save money, and enjoy their financial journey.

Powered by proprietary risk management technology, patented privacy computing techniques, and advanced artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, WeLab offers mobile-based consumer financing solutions and digital banking services to retail individuals and technology solutions to enterprise customers.

The firm operates in three markets under multiple brands, including WeLend, and WeLab Bank in Hong Kong, various business lines in Mainland China, Maucash and a digital bank in Indonesia.

The firm is backed by the most renowned investors including Allianz, China Construction Bank International, International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group), CK Hutchison’s TOM Group, and Sequoia Capital.

Astra is one of Indonesia’s largest public companies, comprising 240 subsidiaries, joint ventures, and associate companies, supported by nearly 190,000 employees.

The company’s diversified business model creates synergies and opportunities across industry sectors including automotive, financial services, heavy equipment, mining construction and energy, agribusiness, infrastructure and logistics, information technology, and property.

Hong Kong’s WeLab acquires Bank Jasa Jakarta in Indonesia to launch second digital bank in Asia