Boost Holdings, a FinTech unit of Axiata Group Bhd is weighing raising $50 million to $100 million in a new funding round, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, quoting people with knowledge of the matter.

Boost Holdings is said to be working with a financial adviser on the potential fundraising, which may give the start-up a valuation of $700 million, the people reportedly said. The funding round would help finance the expansion of Boost’s digital banking operations, the people added.

According to the report, deliberations “are ongoing”, and there is no guarantee Boost will proceed with the planned offering. Representatives of Axiata and Boost declined to comment, the report added.

The consortium of Boost and RHB Bank Bhd was one of the five groups that has been awarded a digital banking license from Malaysia’s central bank last year.

In a recent interview with TechNode Global earlier this month, Boost Group Chief Executive Officer Sheyantha Abeykoon said the company will continuously expand and further embed our AI-based lending business across its holistic fintech ecosystem, spanning its all-in-one fintech app, merchant solutions platform, and cross-border payment platform.

According to him, as of 2022, Boost has accumulated an excellent track record of disbursing over MYR2.5 billion worth of loans in Malaysia and Indonesia since inception, while also recording an increase of over 70 percent year-on-year in loans disbursed across the two countries in 2022. Not only that, Boost also recorded about 90 percent repeat rate on short-term loans as of 2022.

Despite around 40 percent of its customers had never received credit from other financial service providers before, Boost maintained a healthy single-digit non-performing-loan (NPL) rate, he noted.

Boost is the regional fintech unit of Axiata, offering an all-in-one app, merchant solutions, artificial intelligence-based lending and a cross-border payment platform. It serves millions of customers across seven countries in Southeast Asia, the site shows.

In 2020, Axiata sold a 21.9 percent stake in Boost to Great Eastern Holdings Ltd, the insurance arm of Singapore’s Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) for $70 million, according to earlier reports. The investment valued Boost at $320 million, Bloomberg reported.

Malaysia-headquartered telco Axiata has controlling interests in six mobile operators under the brand names of ‘Celcom’ in Malaysia, ‘XL’ in Indonesia, ‘Dialog’ in Sri Lanka, ‘Robi’ in Bangladesh, ‘Smart’ in Cambodia and ‘Ncell’ in Nepal, as well as minority interests in ‘Idea’ in India and ‘M1’ in Singapore.

Axiata’s Boost to leverage ecosystem as it prepares to launch its digital bank. Here’s how and why. [Q&A]