Southeast Asia’s biggest travel app plans regional fintech expansion before 2021 listing

FILE PHOTO: An employee of Traveloka works at the company's headquarters in Jakarta
FILE Photograph: An staff of Traveloka works at the firm’s headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia, August 2, 2017. REUTERS/Beawiharta/File Picture/File Photograph

February 26, 2021

By Fanny Potkin and Anshuman Daga

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Traveloka, Southeast Asia’s major on the net journey startup, options to launch money services in Thailand and Vietnam as it eyes a U.S. listing by way of a blank-cheque business, its president said.

The 9-calendar year-previous Indonesian business, which counts Expedia and China’s among the its backers, is seeing a solid rebound in its enterprise following the COVID-19 pandemic pummelled need.

The company’s president, Caesar Indra, explained to Reuters in an job interview that Traveloka’s Vietnam business experienced surpassed pre-COVID-19 stages, is virtually back again to usual ranges in Thailand, and is at 50 % of pre-COVID amount in Indonesia. “The worst has transpired and now we’re nicely organized for 2021. Domestic travel is driving recovery,” he claimed.

“The strategy is to spend in fintech in a large way to allow for more buyers to travel in the area,” Indra mentioned, introducing that the vacation business had returned to profitability in late 2020.

Traveloka, which claims it has 40 million lively regular monthly users, is acquiring “buy now, pay out later” companies for Thailand and Vietnam marketplaces.

“We a short while ago fashioned a joint undertaking with one of the greatest banks in Thailand to collaborate in the fintech space,” Indra claimed. Traveloka, which has smaller area rivals, is also speaking to possible companions in Vietnam, but Indra declined to title the parties.

Traveloka’s two-year previous equivalent service in Indonesia, released after the organization realised that shoppers would hold out right up until their paydays to guide vacation, has by now facilitated more than 6 million loans, Indra said.

Past yr, Traveloka introduced “Paylater” credit playing cards with some Indonesian lenders. It also gives coverage and prosperity management expert services.

Indra said the company likely was huge in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s biggest economic system, exactly where only 6% of the population of 270 million has credit rating cards.

When asked irrespective of whether Traveloka might obtain a financial institution in Indonesia, like other commence-ups, to broaden its economic services, Indra stated, “all options were being on the table.”

Traveloka, also backed by Singapore sovereign prosperity fund GIC and Indonesian venture organization East Ventures, has grown its neighborhood way of living providers in Indonesia, where by it offers restaurant vouchers and a foodstuff shipping and delivery support, as properly as a popular swift COVID-19 testing.

Indra mentioned the corporation is Indonesia’s most significant restaurant evaluate application.

Traveloka, which has been planning for a listing, is keeping conversations with specific-objective acquisition companies, or SPACs, for a U.S. listing.

“U.S. markets have become much more captivating because there’s extra and additional appreciation of Southeast Asia as a flourishing location, and by listing in the U.S, we can also deliver an chance for U.S buyers to come to be aspect of Southeast Asia’s advancement story,” Indra stated.

Numerous SPACs, trade-mentioned shell companies that increase income by way of IPOs and merge with firms by engaging them with shorter listing timelines, have approached Southeast Asian startups.

Bridgetown Holdings, backed by Asian tycoon Richard Li, Provident Acquisition and Cova Acquisition are contenders for Traveloka, with a prospective valuation of up to $5 billion for the startup, a source explained. The firms did not right away react to requests for comment manufactured outdoors ordinary U.S. small business hrs. Indra declined to remark but claimed an Indonesian listing remained an solution.

(Reporting by Fanny Potkin and Anshuman Daga in Singapore. Enhancing by Gerry Doyle)