Akulaku Gets $100M Investment for Southeast Asia Expansion

digital banking

Siam Commercial Bank has made a $100 million strategic investment in Indonesian banking and digital finance platform Akulaku that will help the company continue its expansion across Southeast Asia, according to a press release Tuesday (Feb. 15).

Akulaku — which already has a presence in Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia — was founded to give underserved customers in emerging markets access to digital banking, digital financing, digital investment and insurance brokerage services.

The company handed out $2.2 billion in loan disbursements to more than 6 million users in 2021, twice as much as the previous year. In March 2021, Akulaku’s digital banking arm, Bank Neo Commerce (BNC), launched a mobile digital banking service, Neobank, which has more than 13 million users.

Siam Commercial Bank joins Ant Group as strategic investors in Akulaku.

“This investment in Akulaku marks our continued commitment and strong belief in the long-term prospects of Indonesia as one of the fastest growing digital economies in the region,” said Siam Commercial Bank president Dr. Arak Sutivong.

In Europe, Akulaku also operates online wealth management platform Asetku and eCommerce offering Wisecart, which offers buy now, pay later (BNPL) services.

“We are extremely excited to have Siam Commercial Bank as our newest investor,” Akulaku CEO William Li said. “We share a vision for banking that is expansive and inclusive. Together with SCB, we will be able to continue our rapid expansion of offerings for the people of Southeast Asia.”

Related: Akulaku Considers Going Public Through SPAC at $2B

Last month, Akulaku considered going public in the U.S. through a merger with blank-check company Catcha Investment Corp. that would value the company at almost $2 billion. The merger — either with Catcha Investment Corp or another special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) investor — could happen later this year.