With the acquisition, WeLab will become one of the first pan-Asian fintech platforms with multiple digital banks operating in Indonesia


WeLab will obtain controlling stake in BJJ. (Credit: S K from Pixabay.)

Hong Kong-based fintech platform WeLab has acquired Bank Jasa Jakarta (BJJ), a commercial bank in Indonesia, to launch its second digital bank in Asia after launching WeLab Bank in Hong Kong.

A consortium led by WeLab, comprising Welab Sky, has signed a share purchase and subscription agreement with the BJJ shareholders.

Under the terms of the agreement, WeLab Sky will acquire the controlling stake in BJJ to become the only controlling shareholder.

The company has already made an investment to acquire a 24% stake in BJJ, as the initial step.

It will obtain the remaining stake upon obtaining the relevant regulatory approvals, including from the Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (Financial Services Authority) of Indonesia.

BJJ president director Handrie Wirawan said: “We’re excited to welcome WeLab as the new shareholder to bring BJJ into the new digital banking era.

“BJJ has been undergoing digital transformation since 2018, this strategic initiative is aligned with our commitment and vision in offering digital banking services to more customers.

“With the experience and expertise of WeLab in digital banking and fintech, we are confident that BJJ can further improve our customers’ financial wellbeing with advanced banking technology.”

WeLab has raised $240m funding from existing and new investors, which is said to be the largest fintech funding in Indonesia this year, to support the acquisition.

According to the company, Indonesia is a significant opportunity to provide advanced and accessible digital banking solutions. The country has around 180 million young consumers and is estimated that 77% of its population are either unbanked or underbanked.

WeLab aims to provide new digital banking services to help address the unmet needs in the country and close the gaps in financial inclusion.

The company is planning to open its second digital bank in Asia, in the second half of 2022, to provide its technology, operational expertise and experience in operating digital banks.

WeLab is backed by investors including Allianz, China Construction Bank International, International Finance Corp., CK Hutchison’s TOM Group, and Sequoia Capital.

WeLab Group CEO and founder Simon Loong said: “We continue the journey that we started in 2018 to build one of the first pan-Asian digital banking platforms, first in Hong Kong and now in Indonesia.

“WeLab combines its advanced digital banking technology with the BJJ network to further grow the Bank’s business towards a bright digital future.

“We look forward to building on this foundation with our fintech expertise, and success of operating a licensed digital bank in Hong Kong, to build a tech-driven digital bank that will be financially inclusive for the people of Indonesia.”